D.C. is a commuter city. Millions of people leave the city everyday to go to their homes in the surrounding states from Maryland to Virginia. When I first started to make friends and talk with teachers and RA’s they had all lived in the surrounding states, none of them actually lived in DC. This wasn’t very comforting as I was trying to get to know a new city and didn’t get very much guidance from them. However once I started my internship that was no longer the case.
My boss at my internship took me under her wing from the first day I started working. On my first day she took me to go get a coffee and as we sat down we started a long discussion. At first we talked about what I wanted out of my experience there but soon she started to give me lots of tips about Washington D.C. From the places I should go eat to the best running paths. She told me about the zoo in DC that is free of charge and is quite big so perfect for a long weekend run. She let me know about events that were occurring in DC that I might like to attend as well as guiding me through some of the US political system.
Although she is originally not from DC she has been living in central DC for a few years now so has really become a native. She has taken me out to several lunches near our office, which gives me comfort, as I know that I can look forward to having a casual conversation about how I am finding DC or ask for advice at least once a week with her.
Another great thing that she has done is given me the tips for the best hairdressers in DC. She gave me contacts to three different salons and let me know which colorists were the best ones at each location. As someone who has never colored her hair outside where I grew up I have always been overly cautious about where I go. Having someone I can go to for guidance on such small nuisances that might not be important to other people, but are important to me, made me feel that little bit more at ease somewhere foreign. A nice bonus was that the salon was located in Georgetown where the leaves were changing and the streets were littered with beautiful colors.
What made me feel more at home was having someone I could talk to about all the small details in my life that some of my close friends or mother would listen to. By this I don’t mean my feelings, I mean those small things that seem so insignificant that you usually don’t bring them up with people but that can really make a difference, such as finding a good hairdresser. It is all those small things that add up each week that have made me feel more comfortable as the weeks in DC have come and gone. As many people say, it’s the small things that count.