Making the Most of My Last Days in D.C.

Making the Most of My Last Days in D.C.

As December and the Christmas season are coming up, so too is my last week at The Washington Center. It’s been a momentous week as I prepare to go home, all against the backdrop of major political happenings in the Congress. It’s easy to feel like it’s time to go home just as I’m beginning to get used to the city and so much is happening to close out the year.


However, I’m determined not to let my last week here be a waste. Close to the end and the end itself are separated by five days for me now, and I intend to make the most of them. Just this weekend, I’ve already packed in a visit to The Wharf for a Christmas tree lighting, visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, discovered my favorite brunch place in the city and had a movie marathon with my roommate.


Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting

A picture from the Christmas Tree Lighting featuring my biggest, cheesiest smile


Sometimes when there are a million choices and less than a million minutes to make them, it can feel like you’re missing out on one thing by choosing another. However, I refuse to be paralyzed by regret or wondering what could have been. Although three months was a short time to be here I feel like I’ve already done more than I could have imagined.


In my last week, I’ve got at least one goal for each day, and I’d encourage anyone who comes to The Washington Center to do the same. Hopefully some of my goals can inspire you for your final week, whether that means finding a new restaurant to try or getting a new idea for something you want to try.


  1. Monday: The Christmas Market off the Gallery Place Metro stop is an unexpected discovery I stumbled upon on my way home from work. It’s a line of mini pop-up shops that sell Christmas gifts like clothes, jewelry, chocolate and other trinkets. I didn’t get a close look the first time around since I was hurrying home to get to my evening class, so I’m hoping to knock out some Christmas shopping while munching on one of the warm churros from their most popular stand.
  2. Tuesday: Tuesday is a pretty packed day for me, so my goal is a little more focused. I’ve been enjoying my evening class all semester, and Tuesday is the day of our final exam. For Tuesday, my goal is to ace the exam and end the semester on a solid note. Although it’s a goal that lives or dies in the three hour exam period, it’s also one I’ve been building on all semester. The evening course can feel long especially so late at night, but I’ve gotten more out of it than almost any other experience through The Washington Center, and I want to finish strong.
  3. Wednesday: The Jefferson Memorial is one of my favorite memorials, at least aesthetically. I loved sitting and looking out over the water, taking a moment of peace and enjoying the beautiful view. I’m aiming to return one final time before I leave, this time at night with one of my roommates. We have a nice dinner at one of my favorite restaurants planned before our late night adventure, which finishes off a tradition of ours that’s been running all semester.
  4. Thursday: For the last day of my internship, I want to reconnect and talk to my two attorneys one final time before it’s time to head home. They’ve both taught me some invaluable lessons about my career and my future, and it’s hard to believe that I’ll be saying goodbye to them. I’ll also be saying goodbye to my partner - it’s officially the beginning of the goodbye train that’ll carry all the way through until I leave. My parents are also arriving on Thursday, and we have a trip to Annandale, VA planned for some authentic Korean food.
  5. Friday: Although my internship will officially be over by Thursday, it’s on Friday that the program officially ends with Commencement. I’m honored to be receiving an award for academic excellence, which I aimed for through my work in my evening course and LEAD Colloquium programming. As much as I appreciate the award, my true goal for the day is to make the most of my time in D.C. with my family, and we have a full schedule of events planned for the day.

Next week will be my final week, and by then I’ll be taking the time to look back. This week, however, is for looking forward and pushing past the finish line, and enjoying the time that I have left.


Read Colleen's previous blog posts

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