5 Reasons I Came to Washington, D.C.

5 Reasons I Came to Washington, D.C.

Contrary to what many believe, George Washington is the only president to have never lived in the White House. Although he supervised the majority of construction, the White House wasn’t complete until November 1800 (11 months after his death). Now… I know what you’re thinking: “You’re living in the White House?!” Well…not exactly. But I am living in D.C., something George Washington also never got the chance to do, since the federal government didn’t move to the capital city until 1800.

Born and raised in Bradenton, FL., I left the Sunshine State right after high school to attend Samford University in Birmingham, AL. The past three years at Samford have given me some of my most treasured experiences and memories, and have provided more life-changing opportunities than I could ever list. Set to graduate in May 2017, I was given the chance to spend my final fall semester interning, studying and living in the nation’s capital. Leaving my tennis teammates, friends and wonderful campus behind was undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but a decision I know I’ll forever be grateful I made. Living in D.C. was simply an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. So…why exactly D.C.?

 

 

1. It’s the Heart of the Country

Home to more than half a million people today (40,000 of those are interns like me), Washington, D.C. is viewed by many across the world as the most powerful city on earth. D.C. hosts more than 175 foreign embassies and is home to all three branches of the federal government of the United States. Leaders from all over the country gather here to make monumental decisions, create laws and serve the public. Getting the opportunity to intern on Capitol Hill gives me the introduction to politics I was looking for, while living in the city offers me the chance to be immersed in the heart of the United States.


2. Small City Feel, Big City Feel (You Choose)

D.C. is made up of more than 130 neighborhoods, so it may be shocking to find out that it has a total area of only 68 square miles! The energy and excitement of the city are easily observed as you travel on the Metro, walk past major headquarters, hear the honk of busy traffic and listen to the echoes of the screaming fans from one of the six professional teams in the city. If you’re like me, however, you know that a chance to escape into a small city environment is a must.

 

From my quick explorations last week, I could tell that each D.C. neighborhood I visited offered its own unique scenery, culture, food, nightlife and people to help you recharge before heading back into the city. Because I still can’t decide if I want to live in a big or small city, I figured I would live in a place where I could experience a bit of both!


3. Location, Location, Location

Whether you want to head east and walk the beaches of Sandy Point or head west and find a hiking trail along the Shenandoah Valley, you’re only an hour away. And if you haven’t had the chance to explore other popular cities like Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore or Boston, living in D.C. gives you easy access to these cities by offering a multitude of cheap trains and buses to get you there. The opportunities are endless!


Huge crowds were expected to flock the National Mall and other touristy options around the city over Labor Day weekend, so I decided to take a bus to NYC and catch a few matches at the U.S. Open with my former college tennis coach. If I wasn’t living in D.C., the neat opportunities like this past weekend would have been impossible.


4. Seasons Actually Exist

Having lived in the very southeastern part of the United States my entire life, I have only experienced hot and humid summers with winters that have seemed to be only a bit less hot and humid. With fall rapidly approaching, I am excited to see leaves begin to actually change color and for my newfound winter wardrobe to make an appearance. It definitely won’t take long for me to break out my jacket, as any temperature under 65 degrees requires an extra layer for me.

 

 

5. History (And the Future to Come)

In its 216 years of existence, D.C. has undoubtedly been laced with powerful history. Whether you want to visit the theater where President Lincoln was assassinated or stand on the same spot where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a dream” speech, getting the opportunity to relive a few of the most important moments in our nation’s history is a dream come true. There is no doubt that history is being made every day in the city, and I’m thrilled to take part in whatever comes up within the next few months.

 

 

Living the Dream,
Austin Ferrer

D.C. fun fact: The Washington Monument opened in 1884 as the tallest structure in the world at 555 feet, until the Eiffel Tower in Paris took the title in 1889. Today, the Washington Monument is still the tallest structure in D.C.

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