Surreal

Surreal

The whole experience still feels so surreal to me. Here I sit, in my living room in Erie, PA, yet I feel as if I belong in D.C. In just a few short weeks, I fell in love with the city and felt right at home. I got to know the ins and outs of daily life, but there's still much more to explore and I can't wait to go back! I've already put applications in for summer internships!

 

But I don't want to get too ahead of myself; there was plenty that happened last week to talk about! We had our final programming session on Monday, followed by our commencement ceremony. Everyone involved did a great job. I really enjoyed the alumni speaker, Kristen Soltis Anderson. I thought she had a good message and was an excellent example of what hard work and the right experiences can do for you. The student speakers all did a wonderful job as well, and captured the essence of our time here... each in their own way.

 

The next morning I awoke to find that federal government offices were closed due to a forecast for snow... except it only snowed for about an hour and didn't even stick to the ground! Being from Erie, where we get a foot of snow overnight regularly throughout the winter, I thought this was quite comical. I had no complaints, though -- I got a free day in the city! Dale and I took a trip to see the National Christmas Tree along with all of the state trees surrounding it.

 

Wednesday I was lucky enough to see Colin Powell speak at NDU! He received an Honorary Doctorate and held a question and answer session with the students and the rest of the audience. I was pleasantly surprised at how down to earth he was; and quite funny, too! Getting to see him and the President speak in the same week was kind of totally awesome! Nothing like going out with a bang, right?

 

Colin Powell receiving his Honorary Doctorate.

 

I couldn't believe it when Thursday rolled around and it was the last day of my internship! I was getting to feel right at home and having to leave was sad. They didn't let us off easy, though. Our office has a tradition of roasting people whenever they leave, so they were sure to bring up our funniest (and most embarassing) moments throughout the semester. Of course, it's all in good fun and they told us how they would miss us when we left. Some of the staff members went out to dinner with Dale and I after and we spent the evening chatting over a delicious meal.

 

Group picture with our office on the last day at ISMO.

 

The RAF was full of energy that night! A lot of students had finished their internships that day and everyone was ready to celebrate. It was nice to get to have a good time with all the new people we'd met over the course of the semester and not have to worry about assignment or work.

 

Dale and me.

 

Sadly, Friday was my last full day in the city. I met my friend Shelby downtown and we got lunch and visited the Botanical Gardens to see their Christmas display. It felt a little strange to be walking through a jungle in the middle of D.C., but it was still really cool. After a walk along the national mall soaking in all the sights, it was time for me to start packing. Not for long, though! Kevin invited me to another intern's apartment for a going away party. There were a bunch of TWC students there, but also a lot of people I had never met.  It was just a reminder to me of how young and full of life the city is!

 

Christmas tree at the Botanical Gardens.

 

Everything they made was totally organic!

 

Packing the car up to leave the next morning was bittersweet. The whole experience had been amazing, but I was sad it was over. It was hard to say goodbye to the people I had spent the last three and a half months of my life with. I had met some amazing people and hopefully I'll get the chance to see them again someday. These aren't the kind of people you easily forget, they share experiences with you that are life changing.

 

It still hasn't really sunk in yet. I've been reliving all of the memories I made, but I'm also looking forward to what's to come. This experience has opened so many doors for me and I can't wait to see what's next!

 

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

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