The Last Few Weeks

The Last Few Weeks

The weeks are drawing to a close, and the Washington Center experience is quickly wrapping up. Everyone is frantically finishing projects, studying for exams, and squeezing in all they can before the semester is up. In all this chaos, it's hard to believe that in a short time we'll all be back in our respective communities. The atmosphere is a mixture of excitement and dread as many people have to go back to their reality. For me, the work load has been quite manageable (on par with a typical college semester), but there are still a few things to wrap up before I can officially say goodbye to D.C.

 

Civic Engagement

At the Washington Center, every student has to complete 15 hours of a civic engagement project. The project requires you to volunteer your time to a cause that you are passionate about. This can be done individually or in a Washington Center sponsored group. I chose to participate in the Washington Center's Veterans Civic Engagement program. It exposed me to an issue that I had little knowledge of, and it was a great introduction to the realm of advocacy.

 

I volunteered on multiple occasions for the Veterans project, but the best time was the Veteran's Fun Day on the National Mall. This activity encouraged both veterans and students to have a relaxing day in the sun, and it promoted interactions with each other to help welcome veterans into the community. This boiled down to some fun kickball, Frisbee, soccer, and football games with many friendly students and veterans enjoying themselves. Afterwards, there was even a happy hour fundraiser that many people showed up to support!

 

The civic engagement activity was great, and the timing was perfect. It was a beautiful day, and some participants brought their dogs to play with. It was one of the better activities to help usher out the program with.

 

(We had a great time with our civic engagement project on the National Mall)

 

The Portfolio

The portfolio was a bit of a hassle. This was a project that highlighted our achievements through the semester and displayed our resumes and cover letters. Most of the work had been done because we were tasked with completing portions of it by certain dates. We were simply required to add a cover page, table of contents, and minor details. These requirements were not so frustrating, but the issues arose when we had to print the entire project.

 

I wish the Washington Center would accept just an electronic version of the portfolio. Printing off 70 pages of material and having to get them spiral bound made the project take longer than necessary. It also didn't exactly appeal to my environmental tendencies, and everything is available electronically anyways. I can see how having a physical copy is more professional, but it felt like an unnecessary step in the process.

 

After all was settled, it was great to see all the work I accomplished over the semester. The portfolio was a collection of most of the work we did, and it was one of the biggest assignments I got to work on in any semester.

 

Saying Goodbye to Lifelong Friends

Saying goodbye to the many friends that I have made has been tough. I have honestly made many friends from around the country and the world. Even though work is important, I make time to have a few more runs to dinner and the various sites around D.C. It only feels like we arrived and are just getting comfortable with our groups of friends and we have to pack up and leave. At least I now have an excuse to visit other states and other countries. I just need to work on my language skills!

 

Some of the students in my specific program are pictured here at the FAA. I will miss my friends and the people I met from the Science, Technology, and Society program.

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