It's Not So Different Afterall

It's Not So Different Afterall

Disclaimer: I'm about to get partially sappy on you. Originally, I saw this post coming at the end of my time in D.C. However, it's the mid-point of my semester and it's crunch time for my class, internship, programming, post-graduation plans, etc. So I've been thinking a lot recently about my time in D.C. up to this point, and... well... here goes! I've realized that it's not so different than Monmouth [home] like I thought it'd be.

 

The Gym Stilllllll Taunts Me

At Monmouth, I used to work out. A lot. And I hated almost every second of it. It was the one thing I did consistently to relieve stress, though. Most of the time, it was my alone time, and it still is. In fact, I have more time here to work out than I did at home, and I'm on more of a schedule. I work out after work every day and only take off on Wednesdays since I have class that evening. The difference: I go running outside through the city on warm days. At home, I used to run on the boardwalk in Long Branch or go swimming at Monmouth's pool (those were the only times I looked forward to working out!). I miss the boardwalk - don't get me wrong. But still, I'm working out here. A lot. Not so different...

 

I Find Solace in the Kitchen

I love, love, LOVE cooking and I used to make myself dinner every night at Monmouth. Surprise! I still cook here. Since we have a full kitchen, I can cook all my meals and save a lot of money. The difference: I rotate cooking with one of my roommates - Miriam - and another student from my home institution - Anthony D'Elia. Anthony cooks Sunday, Miriam cooks Monday, and I cook Wednesday. It's actually pretty cool because we all cook really different style meals, so I never eat the same types of dishes day-to-day. But still, I'm eating home cooked meals nearly every night. Not so different...

 

Homemade pretzels

Homemade pretzels I made for my roomies.

 

I Still See 2 a.m. ... Too Often

Whether it's homework or having fun times, I still stay up late... too late. At Monmouth, I was so busy and overworked that I would be up until 3 a.m. quite often. That or I would being out with friends on Tuesday and weekend nights. I usually slept about 4-5 hours every night, no matter what the occasion. Here, I sleep a lot more. However, I still have those nights when I'm up until 2 a.m.. Sometimes, I'm working on video projects from back home or papers for my class here. Other nights, I'm hanging out with friends checking out the local D.C. scene. The difference: I sleep 7-8 hours a night here.

 

It. Feels. Great.

 

So those few nights when I don't get that much sleep don't hit me as hard because I have a more-sleep-in-my-system kind of thing going on. So really, I still have my fun and not-fun late nights. Not so different...

 

Ready to hang out for St. Patty's Day!

My roommate Miriam, friends Jen and Anthony, and me - ready for a night out on the town to celebrate St. Patty's Day!

 

Those Tough Decisions I Had to Make About Post-Graduation...

Yea, I still have to make them! Deciding what to do this summer and beyond that has been a decision-making process that has been literally torturing me since last May. I've been stressing about grad schools, law schools, professional jobs, camp jobs, temporary jobs... what the heck do I do!? Coming to D.C. didn't get rid of those decisions. The difference: I've honed my decision-making skills while being here in D.C. (kid you not, it's all thanks to an Individual Development Plan assignment we had to do as part of our program in which we developed SMART goals for ourselves to work on throughout this semester... thanks to my program advisor Stacy Rinaldi for pushing me to create goals I'd actually accomplish!!). Plus, I've met a crap-ton of people who I've had legitimately informative conversations with about their experiences post-graduation - from law school and grad school to working as a pizza delivery boy for a year (yes, he actually had a Master's Degree, too! That, my friends, is one over-qualified delivery boy!). I don't know that I would have made the same decision had I been at Monmouth this semester. But I still would have made a decision. By the way, as of Wednesday night I've officially accepted a seat at St. John's School of Law, Class of 2016.

 

In the End...

There are so many more things I could list for you, things that I thought were going to be drastically different. However, I've essentially figured out that as different as it is here in D.C., it's really not that different at the same time. I was so worried coming here that I'd have to change my habits, my activities, and who I am in order to fit in or have a good time here. But I haven't had to really do much of that. Maybe slightly altered my habits, but overall, I'm still me. I think that helped me adjust here even more easily.

 

I have some big changes heading my way in life (graduation in May! Law school after that...). I think this D.C. experience has helped me realize, though, that those changes aren't going to change who I am. I think I've always figured that I'll still be me (I don't see losing my obsession with owls or southern accents anytime soon!), but I always worried that these changes are going to affect the way I live. Now I know they're not. I can still do the things I love, I just have to adjust them to fit my environment and my schedule. As I move forward on toward graduation and law school, this is a super reassuring realization that I'm glad I came to in D.C.

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