Of Ends and Estonia

Of Ends and Estonia

Well, faithful reader, we’re coming up on the end of the summer like a freight train bustling toward its destination. I want to thank you, both those I know who are reading (mom) and those anonymous faces out in cyberspace, for sticking it out this long. Now that my sappy aside is through, we can proceed without further ado to the past week’s highlights.


The Washington Center program doesn’t only focus on the present, it also encourages planning for the future. With this spurring, I was able to contact someone from the Joint Baltic-American National Committee (JBANC), an organization that focuses on Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and their ties with the United States. We had a very engaging conversation. Not only was he able to direct me to other organizations that would allow my love of Estonia to flourish, but we’re also meeting sometime this upcoming week to talk more.



JBANC wasn’t the only thing this week that got me thinking about my future though. I also went to see a talk at the Woodrow Wilson Center about Chinese and Russian concepts of self. Getting to see an event hosted by the prestigious Kennan and Kissinger Institutes really affected me. This whole summer I’ve been lucky enough to attend talks, conferences, and luncheons, at amazing organizations like Brookings, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Atlantic Council, and more. You should know, this blog has practically been bombarding you loyal readers with pictures from these events. This week I really realized that I would love to find myself working in a similar capacity. I already talk almost incessantly, just ask my parents, so why not find a way to get paid to research and talk about Eastern Europe?



The college years are supposed to be a time for finding yourself, for self-definition free of many of the constraints placed on it during earlier years. The problem is that, for many people, the restrictions put in place don’t go away that easily. Some chains are easier to break than others. The expectation of having a major picked out and a career field in mind upon graduation is a scary thought for someone who’s biggest concern just a few months before starting college was whether or not a girl would say yes to going to prom or not. I have been fortunate enough to have the chance to try out many a path, to entertain many a notion, and to harbor many a dream. I have been incredibly lucky to get the chance to determine my own path, supported by my loved ones and given the rein to explore the wide world with programs like The Washington Center, and for that I will always be grateful.


Ryan’s Recs

It’s never too late to make some new memories. Even if it’s just a rabble assembled to do a group project, these new faces can brighten up and change your day, even if it’s only for a few hours.


Remember to treat yourself. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the tyranny of the urgent, but for all of the hard work that you’re doing for your class, your internship site, or elsewhere, don’t forget that you’ve done some great stuff getting this far. Take a night to get ice cream with the roomies or to watch a movie marathon. The world will keep spinning if you take one day to relax and celebrate you being you.


Until next time, true believers, remember, those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

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