Finals Week Madness

Finals Week Madness

I always dread finals week. Studying for five exams while trying to write final papers always makes me wonder if I actually want the semester to end. This finals week is a little different than most: sure, I have a pile of work to get done, but I certainly did not countdown for this semester to end. I'm sure that if you have followed along with my blogs, you've noticed that I have practically had the time of my life this semester. As I wrote my final capstone project, I really noticed how much I have grown not only as a professional, but an individual as well. I know I this was not a semester abroad, but it almost is something like that. A city like this seems a little foreign when coming from Toledo, Ohio.

 

This week, it hit me that I had to say goodbye to an office of people I have grown to love, a group of interns who I will forever consider my best friends and a city that has opened my eyes to a world of opportunities. It has been a rough week to say the least; I have tried to remind myself that I am going home, but I already feel like I am home. I’ve heard about it being difficult to return home after studying abroad, but I never thought this was possible to feel while spending a semester in another city.

 

I told you guys I was going to be sappy this week… bear with me.

 

Ok, It Isn’t All Too Bad

Although leaving is going to be a painful transition, the amount of knowledge I have learned in DC has been unbelievable, and I would not trade it for the world. I have spent so much time on Capitol Hill interacting with members of Congress and their staff; I have helped organize and coordinate a conference for 300+ people, and I was a part of the push for getting the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed (replacing the 4-year old No Child Left Behind Act). My supervisor is constantly telling us that we were here during the busiest time in the education sector, and what a learning experience it was! One of my main goals during my time here was to familiarize myself more with Congress and how it operates; I actually took the “How Washington Really Works” course in hopes that would enhance my understanding. Surely, I am no expert yet, but I have definitely gained a whole new level of knowledge. You can’t really get away from politics or government issues while you’re in DC, so even if you don't watch the news, you can probably get your days-worth of updates on your Metro ride back home.

 

This city is also the best place to network and meet people who can help you later on in your career. I was lucky enough to have informational interviews with very knowledgeable people who offered to help me if I ever decide to return to DC and gave me contacts to people I may want to reach out to in Ohio. We were talking in our LEAD class this week about how important it is to stay in contact with these people, check-in with them from time to time, send them holiday greetings, or do whatever possible to make sure they don’t forget about you. If there is something I have learned in DC, it’s that most people here want to help you succeed; they do not mind when you reach out to them and ask them for help. I plan on keeping these connections after I leave, because I think that I will be back in DC after I graduate.

 

What’s Next for GB

Well, I am a junior pursuing a double degree in Political Science and Social Work so I still have about a year and a half of school to go. This was a stressful realization for me earlier in the semester, because I love what I am doing right now and could not imagine myself going back to school once again. I then figured that it is okay to be a student again; I surely still have much to learn and now I have a better since of direction in regard to what I am going to do with my degree. During my time here though, I did realize that I love visiting new places and getting different perspectives of the world; therefore, I am planning to spend the upcoming summer abroad in Germany. I studied German through my middle school and high school years, and it was always something I adored, so I think that it is time for me to give it another shot. I am so excited and I don’t think I would have gotten the courage to make this decision if it were not for this semester here.

 

Thank You DC for the unbelievable semester!


Love,
GB

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