Letting Go to Be Transformed | The Washington Center

Letting Go to Be Transformed

On the way down to Washington D.C. for my summer-long internship, I felt extremely confident that I could handle anything the city threw my way. Whether it’s challenging work, big crowds or an unfamiliar environment, I have always had confidence in my ability to overcome and adapt to hardship. So far, living in the D.C. Metro area has presented its own share of difficulties, but through perseverance and reflection I’m starting to get into the groove of how things operate around here.


During my first orientation session at The Washington Center, Isaac Agbeshie-Noye, the Director of Student Services, jokingly referred to D.C. as a “swamp town.” While he was mostly talking about the rain and the heat (it was 90 degrees that day), I think the city earns its title for more than just its climate. Like those stylized marshes from Goosebumps, Washington is initially a bit foreboding. The Metro area sprawls out for miles, encompassing millions of people from all walks of life, each with their own hopes, dreams, fears and worries.


“If you sit still for a second, the city will swallow you up.” I must have repeated that mantra to myself for a week straight. I come from rural upstate New York, where everybody knows everybody and where one’s social being depends more on how connections are formed than the connections themselves. To survive in D.C., I thought I would have to immediately establish a niche group of friends or I’d get lost among the brownstones. I went about frantically trying to tie together a social “raft,” but nothing stuck.


I think this notion is one of the most important ones to dispel when moving to a city. It’s important to just relax and sink beneath the surface of the bog. Let the mud ooze in between your toes, let the algae mix with your hair and let the turtles tickle your nose. When you delve into the depths of city-living, you encounter a wide array of vibrant life. Like so many microbes swarming through the swamp’s underbelly, individuals in the city are varied and unique, offering fresh perspectives and revelations every day. All you’ve got to do is dive in.


At the same time, life in Washington is a balancing act. There are so many opportunities to get out and mingle, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice. You must always weigh the benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone with fulfilling your responsibilities. With its rigorous internship assignments, a weekly evening course and an engaging professional development program, The Washington Center will ensure that you have a full schedule. However, supplementing work with a regular dose of play can be a great way to expand your social sphere and transcend your routine. A relaxed you is a happy you. Kick back! You’ve earned it.


Event of the Week:


Kaytranada @ 9:30 Club

Kaytranada @ 9:30 Club courtesy of Bright Young Things



Kaytranada has only been on my radar since May, and I made a point of seeing him live. His music bumps. A lot. The dancing was incredible, the people were electrified and I bounced my way through the crowd for hours like Tigger on a caffeine kick. He deftly appropriates disco and hip hop into the electronic genre, leading to a sound that will be sure to get your body moving. I would recommend Glowed Up, Lite Spots, and Drive Me Crazy for anyone who’s interested.

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