21

21

"Living in the moment, without attaching yourself to regrets about yesterday or worries about tomorrow, goes a long way toward cutting through the chaos of everyday life."

-Eve Adamson

 

I must admit, throughout the last year I felt as though I was waiting and waiting to turn 21. It felt like an eternity because everyone around me was already 21. I yearned to be officially legal. I used to think that being able to drink alcohol and gamble was a rite of passage in this country, one that would lead me to legitimate adulthood. And yet, as I got closer and closer to turning 21 it dawned on me that this was not quite the case. Turning 21, while a celebration, was also a wakeup call. I now recognize that I am even more responsible for my actions than ever before and as it turns out, I do not really feel much different. I actually found out that what I loved about 21st birthdays was not necessarily the actual birthday itself, but the celebration that followed it. I can say with confidence that my 21st birthday was by far one of the best days of my life thus far!

 

The beauty of turning 21 in Washington, D.C. is that the typical celebration is not emphasized nearly as much when your birthday is in the middle of the week and you are busy being an intern, student and aspiring professional. I was fortunate to spend my birthday sitting in the second row of the Supreme Court of the United States, in awe of The Nine, as I witnessed the holding of the Michigan affirmative action ban.

 

 

As Justice Kennedy read the majority opinion and Justice Sotomayor dissented, I could not help but realize that I was one of the luckiest individuals in that courtroom. I was instantaneously reminded of how fortunate I have been throughout this past semester to have been a part of The Washington Center and the Department of Justice's Internship Program. Ultimately, spending my 21st birthday at SCOTUS provided me a sense of empowerment and fulfillment. And shockingly, I finally felt like I was officially legal.

 

Fast forward to Friday...

 

 

My family flew up to DC from Pensacola, FL to continue my 21st birthday celebrations with a night out on the town! I was so happy that I was able to spend the weekend with them after being away for nearly four months.

 

Rebecca, Jeronimo, Wesley and Rhiannon

 

To top it off, my very best friends flew from FL up to DC for the weekend as well to celebrate my 21st with my family and I. Friday night was incredible, as I was fortunate enough to have all of my friends from DC, Pensacola and Tampa finally meet each other at NoPa, a restaurant near Judiciary Square.

 

The More the Merrier!

 

I could not have imagined celebrating my 21st birthday with a better group of individuals. Thank you all of coming out for my birthday, and further, for constantly supporting me. Each of you has inspired me in a unique way, and while I will always be one to go after my goals, I appreciate being reminded that it is important to cut loose every now and then as well. After all, life is all about balance.

 

 

A little party never killed nobody!

 

So, if you did not make it out Friday night to see my sign and I in action, then you definitely missed out. And for all of you who are not yet 21, or who come to TWC and have to live in DC as a 20 year old, do not fret! I spent so much time waiting to turn 21, and now that the wait is over, I have realized that the hype is exaggerated. DC is an incredible town at day or night regardless of whether or not you can get into a couple of bars. Sometimes it is not all about where you are, but who you are with. By surrounding myself with a diverse group of friends and family I have made sure that they will never let me live down embarrassing stories, but also never allow me to give up or be second best without a fight.

 

So cheers to being 21, and officially legal in the greatest city!

 

Until Next Time,

R.A.S.

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