Since I've Been Home

Since I've Been Home

Going away isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of factors that you must consider when thinking about going away… whether you are going away for school, a job, or even a vacation. And when there are so many things you have to think about, you’re guaranteed to miss something in the process.

Before going to D.C. I did exactly what any sensible young adult would do. I thought about the distance, being away from my family and friends, having to make new friends, and all of the new experiences I would encounter while being away. Despite how nervous I was; I told myself over and over that it wouldn’t be that bad, and it was something that I could do. It was something that I was ready for.

Boy, was I wrong.

I’ve gone away before, but never in my life had I experienced anything like I did this past term. Homesickness became a real thing for me, and it seemed like no matter what I did I just couldn’t get over it. I made friends, met a lot of great people, and experienced D.C. for myself, but nothing seemed to help. I’ve always been about developing close personal relationships with people in my life, and when you don’t have that safety net to fall back onto when something goes wrong, life can be really difficult. To make matters worse, when something at home happened, it made it even more difficult for me to not get upset.


Long story short, this becomes an almost unbreakable cycle of always feeling upset. And some people know exactly how to deal with this, but for me, this was a whole new emotional and mental experience that I couldn’t seem to break. I felt as if every day was a struggle for me, and I was beginning to worry about how else this could start to affect me.


Since coming home it feels like a weight has been lifted off of my chest. I am much happier, I have my family and closest friends; and if something goes wrong, I know everything will be okay. Returning home has also given me the opportunity to reflect on my experience in Washington. By all means I didn’t have a bad time in D.C., I just didn’t have the experience I thought I would. It really was a great opportunity for me to go. I met some amazing people, I loved my internship, and enjoyed the Washington Center Program very much; I just wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was.


Overall, I learned a lot about myself. I faced new struggles, but I was also presented with a lot of great opportunities. Going away to D.C. was definitely a growing experience for me. Despite leaving the program early, I know that this experience has changed me, and benefitted me in many ways. I am happy to be home, but I miss my work and, most of all, I miss all of the great people I met in my time there.


If I could offer any advice, I would say don’t be afraid of taking risks and experiencing something new, just make sure that you are ready for anything that may come your way.



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