Parting Ways

In The Art of Travel, Washington DC, 15. Farewell by Matthew Chung1 Comment

My first three semesters as a student at New York University has definitely been surreal. For someone who has lived most of his life on the west coast, it was insane to have traveled everywhere from New York to Sydney to Washington D.C. Probably one of the most interesting of semesters was my most recent one here in D.C. Personally, I feel that the marking point of someone coming of age is when they start to work, so my semester here felt very enlightening in that I was interning as well as taking five NYU courses. If you have been reading some of my blogs you will know that I interned with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and my last day will actually be tomorrow.

Working and taking five courses was no easy task. At the beginning of the semester, I was really tired and it was such a struggle waking up early in the morning and returning home to take three hour night classes. It was only around the midpoint of the semester that I really got the hang of my new lifestyle. I began to keep a more consistent sleep schedule and balanced my work and school life while consistently going to the gym as well. One major thing I regret, however, about my semester in D.C. was the lack of time and energy I had towards really exploring the city. In one of my earlier blogs, I talked about how one of my major regrets about my first year in New York was my lack of will to explore the city due to my anxiety and discomfort. I promised myself that I would conquer that fear and thought that my semester here in D.C. would be a great place to make that happen. Of course, with only a little over a week left, I can’t say that I will be able to fully achieve that goal with finals still going on. I did come to D.C., however, with the primary intention of working so I can’t say that I completely disappointed with myself.

As for the city itself, D.C. is an amazing place to live in. It is so rich in history and it’s amazing to walk 10 minutes from the dorm to see the towering monuments and memorials scattered across the city. In fact, my window from the Treasury office has a view of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson memorial behind it. It truly is wonderful living in the capitol of a nation, especially in this day and age where politics are quite heated.

As for NYU DC itself, the campus is wonderful. The dorm itself is a lot nicer than my freshman year dorm and the community is very kind and hardworking as well. I definitely felt a greater sense of community within the small 80 people population compared to New York where you somewhat feel isolated by the mere size of the NYU student population as well as the lack of a real campus. A good number of the friends I met here in D.C. are from NYU Shanghai, so it was a great experience meeting and talking with these diverse people. A lot of them are actually studying in NYU’s main campus next semester so my journey with them will continue. Of course, I also became very close with my current roommate who I will be dorming with again back in New York, so that’s another awesome thing to look forward to.

Overall, my D.C. experience was amazing and it’s crazy to think about how it’s coming to an end in little more than a week. As much as I feel that I will miss this place, however, I am also really excited to go back home to California for winter break and I am even more excited to return back to New York and all of the amazing experience it has in store for me. Taking this course was definitely enlightening and entertaining because I got to express my personal opinions about my experiences abroad in my own style and it has helped grow me a lot as a person. I enjoyed taking this course with the rest of you because it allowed me to be in your shoes across the globe and I truly recommend taking this class to anyone considering it.

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(Image: Reflecting Pool; Source: U.S. News )


  1. Hey! I feel your pain of those 3 hour night classes, truly terrible. Were you working full time? 5 classes must have been rough. Luckily I was only taking 3 in person classes, I don’t think I could have handled another after work.

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