Not Goodbye, but See You Later

Not Goodbye, but See You Later

GB Took On DC

Fall 2015, by far the greatest semester of all time. I’m sincerely heartbroken to leave this city and all of these wonderful people. From week one, DC just naturally felt like home and 15 weeks later, it is hard to picture myself anywhere else. The experience and perspective I gained in those short weeks has completely changed my life and given me direction when it comes to what I want to do with my life. This city calls my name, and I can almost guarantee you that I will be back within the next two years!

 

 

Why DC?

We all have those doubts from time to time: “Is this degree going to land me a job?" "Am I going to like what this profession has to offer?” Going to class every day, reading textbooks and writing papers often makes you wonder if you will ever be able to put the skills you’re learning to the test. During the second semester of my sophomore year, I was terrified because I didn’t know what I wanted to do and didn’t know what I could do with a political science degree. Mind you, I live in a small city and attend a university that is very STEM oriented, so it often feels like I am the only one thinking about politics. Since I was in 8th grade, I would dream about working in Washington, DC, but I still asked myself the question: "Why DC?"

Here is a quick overview of all the things that happened in DC while I was here: Country dodges a government shutdown by issuing a continuing resolution; Pope addressed Congress; Speaker John Boehner steps down and the representative expected to take his place pulls himself out of the race on the day of the vote; Congress makes a budget deal; Paul Ryan becomes Speaker; new education bill is passed in House and Senate; President signs the Every Student Succeeds Act.

 

It was a hectic semester to say the least, but it was the perfect time really get a grasp of how the government  works. Working with education policies this semester has been a joy, and it is something that I would like to continue doing in the future. On the last day at my internship, I watched the President sign the new education bill, and it was such a rewarding and great way to end my time in DC. I have reached a new understanding and appreciation for my field. In the city, everyone did something along the lines of what I would like to do some day, and everyone is working to make this country a better place. The public sector may not be everyone’s dream path, but it has always been mine, and will continue to be mine. My experience in DC relieved me of all those worries I had  sophomore year - I now know that I am doing the right thing, and my degree will land me a job that I love.

 

Connections that Will Last a Lifetime

Aside from having to leave the internship that I loved, I also had to say "see you later" to my best friends. One of the best things about The Washington Center is that you will meet people from all over the world; the sad part is that you will grow to love them and saying goodbye is the most heartbreaking part of the 15 weeks. All of my roommates were from different cities in Mexico, my two really close friends were from Canada and Greece and some of the coolest people I met were from Puerto Rico, Spain and China. It was fascinating to get to know so many people with different cultural backgrounds and still be able to connect with all of them so well. In 3 months, I met people that I am sure I will stay in contact with for the rest of my life, whether we end up in DC or not. There were people in this program that I know will be doing big things in a few years, and I cannot wait to see that happen for them; everyone at TWC was truly an inspiring young professional.

 

 

Meet Kari (Canada) and Irine (Greece) - they have become my best friends. I am already planning on visiting Irine in Greece this summer and meeting Kari in Canada soon. My time in Washington would not have been the same without these two by my side. We met our second day in DC and have not separated since then. I could not bring myself to say goodbye to them, simply because I know that I will see them again very soon, and I can’t wait for the day.

 

Until Next Time

Overall, this semester was exactly what I needed for my own personal growth. It was an experience that I will forever cherish and never forget. I feel more confident as a professional and more prepared for the “real world” after college. I may have a couple more years until I actually have to start job hunting, but I now know that internships are such a valuable opportunity. I plan on searching for another one in the State Department of Education and continue my work with education policy. I found the perfect internship for me in DC, but I do not want to stop there. I can’t wait to discover whatelse I my life has in store. I could write a novel about how absolutely perfect this semester was, but don’t worry, I won’t! Thank you for reading my blogs, I hope that they were helpful for you future interns.


See You Later,
GB

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