Final Reflections

Final Reflections

 

Happy Holidays!

 

I managed to fit everything into my suitcases, we scrubbed the apartment, and I am back in Minnesota for Christmas and some much needed rest. Since this will be my last blog for the semester, I want to reflect on my time in DC. Stick with me, I might ramble a little, but there is plenty to reflect on.

 

When I decided to try TWC I had no idea what to expect or what I would be getting myself into. I had only recently added Political Communications as my second major and decided that I might want to work with Civil Rights rather than becomming an actress. It was a big change, and what better way to decide if it was the right decision than diving right into some real-life experience.

 

Now that the semester is over, I can easily say that the experience was so much more than I could have expected.

 

You can get as much or as little out of this program and this city as you choose, but I suggest entering the program with an open mind and an understanding that you are going to have to work hard. Whether your internship is perfect for you or if it shows you that you might not want to work in that position, there is plenty to learn. You can gain professional experience, leadership skills, networking skills, and you can enjoy it all in an amazing city with new friends. The program is not perfect, but what program is? In this situation, the positives much outweigh any negatives. It is absolutely worth  the work that will be asked of you; and in the end you will be proud of what you have accomplished.

 

I spent my semester working on cases of discrimination based on race, gender, and disability within the education system. I was given the opportunity to make a direct impact on the lives of students and families who feel they have been discriminated against, and make sure that the education system in America is providing a fair education to all students. Without this program, I may never have been able to do this and I would never know how interested I am in Civil Rights and education.

 

I was also lucky enough to find amazing friends while I was in DC. I had known one of my roommates a little before this semester, and we requested each other when applying to TWC, but I had no idea how amazing she is. We were assigned two other roommates and one of them became a very close friend, someone I am determined to keep contact with and see again soon. Not every roommate assignment will be perfect, but that's ok. You don't have to be best friends with all of your roommates, as long as you have respect for each other. And if there is drama, as there usually is with girls, your friends will most likely be right down the hall, since the majority of interns are housed in the same building (the RAF). Shrug off the drama, and try to remember that there are so many things for you to do in DC that deserve your attention much more than a difficult roommate.

 

The friends I made in DC came from places ranging from Belgium to Atlanta, and work nights wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without at least two of them sprawled out on the floor watching terrible quality streamed TV until 1am. You will meet friends through class, work, TWC, and through other interns and I can almost guarantee that these friends will be the highlight of your time in DC. Without them the time would be much less memorable.

 

I want to thank my friends for giving me someone to share my semester with, for wandering the city with me (even when I got them lost), and for letting me constantly distract them from work. Specifically, I want to thank my roommate for making me laugh, cheering me up, and spending the majority of the semester wandering our apartment in her Batman pajamas (you never know how awesome someone is until you live 5 feet away from them for 4 months).

 

I also want to thank my coworkers and supervisors at work for encouraging me to be more of an employee than an intern, and giving me challenging and rewarding work. I want to thank my TWC advisor for helping me through a very difficult semester, and I want to thank all of you for reading along with my experiences.

 

Now it's time to wrap Christmas presents, blast Christmas tunes, and sleep past 9am. Next semester I will tackle planning law school, a full class schedule, a continued internship with the Office for Civil Rights Boston Office, and graduation. After this past semester in DC, I finally feel prepared for what hasn't been planned yet and what will come after graduation.

 

For those of you still wondering if The Washington Center is something you might want to try: I definitley encourage it, there is no experience quite like it.

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