My semester in Washington, DC has proven to be worth a lot. Here, I have had access to more professionals in the fields I would one day like to work in than I have ever dared to talk to before. In New York, these types of professionals are also quite accessible, but the experiences I have had in DC have shown me how important it really is to network and meet people and how willing most people are to help young aspiring professionals like myself. I have also had an amazing internship that showed me what goes into creating legislation and the realities of politics when the whole country is watching, as the American Health Care Act passed in the House of Representatives just a few days ago. My experiences here have been priceless and although I am sad to go, I am excited to bring what I have learned back to my home base and try to build a network there.
If I had to chose certain people or things to say goodbye to that have meant the most to me, I would chose them wisely. My roommates have been some of the most important people I have met at this campus and I am glad to have met them, even though we will be parting ways soon and for an indefinite amount of time. I have found friends that have challenged me to be more open and more careful with myself and my emotions, to remember what I am worth. I could not have learned these lessons without venturing into the world of dating and getting hurt time and time again, but at least with my friends I could weed out the pain and gain invaluable experience that will not easily be forgotten.
I will miss working on Capitol Hill and the experience and knowledge that comes with being surrounded by politics and lawmaking at all times. I have never felt more informed and knowledgable about my country or my representatives and I will strive to bring this home with me by keeping my subscriptions to the newspapers that cover the Hill. These world and national events are essential to analyzing the current state of politics and I will never allow myself to be misinformed again.
My fondest memory from this semester will be the closeness I felt with my classmates. That is one of the principle things that bothered me for most of the semester, that I felt way to close to people I was unfamiliar with, but as I continued through, I found comfort in never being alone for too long and in certain friends that I held close. The last few weeks of this semester were peppered with personal dilemmas and emotional lows and I am definitely thankful that in those moments I could not feel alone even if I tried to. Even at times when I did want to be alone, knowing that I was making a choice and not defaulting into solitude made me feel all the better.
The opportunity that the Art of Travel course gave me to reflect on my journey and keep a type of record of what was going on from week to week was precious to me. I have never been one to journal or blog on a regular basis and this course forced me to do so, reminding me how important it can be to sort out your thoughts in writing. After finishing this course, I hope to launch my own blog where I can catalogue my professional development and remind myself of where I am going by looking back at where I have been. I aspire to keep it a regular part of my life by having others hold me accountable and making it a public responsibility to me, but the details still have to be worked out.
Overall, I have had a great semester with great friends, great triumphs, and great memories. I have worked towards being the best version of myself possible, but the work is never over.