The beginning goes does not always determine the middle, or the end!

The beginning goes does not always determine the middle, or the end!

One full week has gone by in this great historic city of Washington, D.C.  I sit here writing this blog after experiencing a cancelled flight, training week, attending a class, exploring D.C., as well as many other great little adventures throughout this week.  How in the WORLD did I get here?!  Well let me tell you . . .

First, please learn from my mistakes.  DON'T PLAN out activities for your first day of arrival into D.C.  I was supposed to arrive in D.C. lasat Sunday at 8:30 in the morning.  This was going to give me the perfect amount of time to check in, move in, try out the Metro, go grocery shopping, visit my worksite, all in one day before I started work the next day.  Since this was the plan, what really happened was that I moved my belongings in and met my roommates for the first time at 5:30 pm the same day.  On the first day of work, I threw myself into the madness of the Morning Metro for the first time.  Thankfully, I did not get lost trying to find my way to my internship site.  I did not get to go grocery shopping . . . until Thursday evening.  Here is the lesson learned: Just come to D.C. expecting an adventure and don't get too bogged down by your anxieties or plans.  It is more relaxing that way and you have great stories to tell later on!

Once I conquered the Metro system, I set out to dominate my class, U.S. Foreign Policy: Dynamics of Change.  My determination changed rather dynamically when I arrived 30 minutes late on the first day after sitting for five minutes in the wrong classroom.  Now you may be thinking that I just may not have quite everything all together.  Let me be the first to tell you that neither of us do.  Here is the lesson learned: Keep The Washington Center number close to you.  Emails can only go so far and if one email is missed (as was the case for me), you may have to resort to more primitive styles of communication.  Double check all information that you receive, such as the EXACT TIME your specific class starts, as well as the location.  My roommate showed up at the wrong site for her class on the same day- when you are riding the Metro, that is one hour of traveling time lost between the two buildings!  Nevertheless, after attending the second class I feel more acclimated into the group and am able to engage in the discussions since I arrived, well, closer to the time that it was to start.  That is all that matters.

It sure does sound like I started out on the wrong side of things since being here, but I have honestly enjoyed most of the crash and learn experiences so far.  My most exciting time was during the training week at my internship, International Justice Mission.  They are a human rights agency that brings justice for victims of oppression such as slavery, sexual exploitation, and illegal detention.  Check out their website for more on what they do!  There were so many interns in training participating in this mission in various capacities.  It was such a great opportunity for me to explore on a more intimate level the work that one particular human rights agency is doing to combat these violations of human rights, since I am very passionate about it.

One more word of advice: be prepared to become as an adult for the next ten to fifteen weeks that you are here.  There is no dilly-dallying, or rather, goofing off.  You must always prepare ahead for the next day.  This entails getting your outfit together and ready, making breakfast and packing a lunch, reading before the night before your class, and going to bed before 1 am.  Though this may sound tedious and may entice you to invite your mother to come stay with you, it is such a fun time that you don't need to bring her! It is all about prioritizing and getting your projects done so that the fun can run!  D.C. is such a rich city filled with history and lots of free stuff!!!

I hope that these lessons have spurred your interest in the different life here.  Don't worry about the beginning of a new thing.  Just think about how you are going to enjoy everything in the middle, and the ending will be phenomenal.  Remember if the beginning is wacky, then the ending has to be wackier. . . I look forward to the outcome of this reasoning in my own life.

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

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