Home Away From Home | The Washington Center

Home Away From Home

As I write this, I'm looking through the window of a Megabus at the Manhattan skyline, on my way back to Washington, D.C. The past several weeks I've been traveling non-stop, mostly for graduate school interviews. Along with thousands of other students, I submitted my graduate school applications last fall with a feeling of uncertainty. I had no idea where I would be or what I would be doing at the end of the summer, whether it be work or more school.


Traveling on the weekends while doing an internship has been particularly exhausting. At that the same time, it's a wonderful opportunity to visit new places. I've been to Pittsburgh, New York, Madison (Wisconsin) and Chicago, all within the span of a few weeks.


Downtown Chicago


D.C. has really become home for me as a result. I look forward to returning to my apartment to hang out with roommates, see friends and return to my usual routine. I enjoy knowing my neighborhood now: I can find the grocery store, coffee shops and my way around town with little to no difficulty.


Choosing a graduate program is difficult for many reasons: it is important to consider your career goals, the strength of the program, your connection with faculty members and location. As I was preparing for applications in the fall, I did a significant amount of research and reflection, but I wasn't ready for the complications location can add to the equation. Imagining yourself as a working professional two to five years from now is already difficult, but graduate school is more than a one-way ticket to a career. It is an important period of life—to make friends, to develop professionally, to become part of a community.


As I return to D.C. to begin a new week at my internship, I want to experience the same feeling of comfort and relief when I return to whichever place I move to in the coming months. D.C. is my home away from home—I just hope to find the same feeling where I end up living.


Until next week,



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