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Editors’ Blog: What we’re Most Excited About Returning to Washington, D.C.

It has been a while since everyone has been back on campus and in Washington, D.C. Now that everyone has returned, this month, our editors’ highlighted what they are looking forward to most returning to Washington.

The Smithsonian
Lily MacCachran 4
Original photo by Lily MacCachran

This past summer was the first summer I ever spent in Washington, so having it also be during the pandemic was definitely a challenge as there was so much I wanted to do, but the health of myself and my roommates, of course, came first.

This city gets humid and hot very quickly and, being a broke college student, the Smithsonians were something I knew would be a cheap-day-out I could rely on.

Or so I thought. 

Because of COVID, most of the Smithsonians were closed, and the ones that were open required registering for a time slot. So going to the museum would be something you had to plan days if not weeks in advance due to slot times filling up quickly thanks to tourists. If you’re a Washington college student, you know that going to the free museums around here is something you decide the morning of with your friends, not something you need to schedule time for around a busy work/internship schedule. 

Now that the majority of the city is vaccinated, all of the Smithsonians have opened back up

And with my bank account still struggling as well as my hair from the persisting heat and humidity into October, this means a day of free fun and AC. Even as a senior at American, I still haven’t come close to visiting every Smithsonian. But now, there is hope I will be able to before I graduate.

Peyton Bigora

Back to campus and hole-in-the-wall food places

Finally returning back to Washington and being back in person on campus is one of many things I’m excited about. After being home on and off for the last year and a half, I am excited to regain independence by being back at school and having new adventures in Washington, especially during the fall which is always beautiful.

I am also super excited to be able to go to my favorite spots in Washington again and get food I was unable to get back home. I am a huge foodie and I have a love for trying hole-in-the-wall places and coffee shops that people typically won’t pay much attention to. My new favorite spot to go to is Zeleno in Dupont Circle which has great coffee and delicious, healthy foods.

The thing I am most excited about returning to Washington is finally being able to see everyone at Her Campus again. For the last year and a half, we have faced many challenges adjusting to media publication during the pandemic while not being together.

However, we have overcome these adversities and have become stronger as a media organization and as friends. I am excited to see what we accomplish returning to campus this semester and I am excited about the endless possibilities of what we can do together. 

-Gianna Matassa

Halloween and chai latte season

Washington is my absolute favorite city in the world so I am ecstatic about returning here to a somewhat normal world. I’m particularly excited for Halloween in Washington. In Georgetown, the houses are always covered in spider webs, witches and ghosts, and the streets are coated in crisp yellow and orange leaves. 

Besides going to Georgetown, going to the monuments on a fall night is equally as fun. My favorite spot near the mall is the stairs behind the Lincoln Memorial overlooking the Potomac, Rock Creek Parkway and Rosslyn, Virginia. This view is stunning during any season but is best when you are not sweaty from the sun sweltering down on you. 

I am also excited to have the ability to try every Washington coffee shop’s chai latte, a staple in my fall routine. Washington has some of the best independent coffee shops that always give a great excuse to experience a new neighborhood. I have already made some progress on my race to find the best chai, and so far, I love Little Red Fox in Chevy Chase and Coffy Cafe in Columbia Heights.

Lastly, I am just excited to experience college for the first time. The lack of having a freshman year certainly made this year extremely daunting; with hopes of making new friends and concerns about adjusting to dorm life filling my mind. However, with communities such as Her Campus and other friends I’ve made, I can already tell I love this school and this city and I’m excited to make up for lost time.

-Jordyn Habib

Washington’s nature and art museums

I have to admit I have a very love-hate relationship with Washington. Living here throughout the pandemic was admittedly very difficult and certainly lonely as so many of the city’s attractions and activities were closed. I am most excited to explore all the museums and parks that I haven’t had the chance to see. 

I love art and while Washington has some of the best art and history museums in the world, I haven’t had a chance to explore them all yet. Out of the few that I have gone to, I love the National Portrait Gallery. In the future, I plan on visiting the Renwick Gallery, as it has been at the top of my Washington bucket list forever and I cannot wait for the perfect fall day when I finally get to explore it. 

I’m also looking forward to exploring more of Washington’s nature. Growing up in a more rural area, I knew moving to a big city would be difficult and I would feel more disconnected from nature. One of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had since moving here was that Washington is an extremely green city. There are endless parks and hikes to explore. One of my favorites is the Great Falls Park hike, but I’m looking forward to getting out of the district and finding even more trails to explore. 

Fall in Washington is a magical time, when it’s finally cool enough to sit outside at least, and this time of year is perfect for getting out and exploring this amazing city that we are lucky to call home. 

-Mackenzie Riley

There are many reasons our editors are excited to be back in Washington and if you have a chance to go to any of these places, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Peyton is a student at American University in Washington DC and is HCAU's Editor in Chief. Majoring in journalism and double minoring in political science and creative writing, Peyton intends on graduating in May 2022. Peyton's goal is to write for a major news organization as a print or online journalist. She also wants to continue traveling, exploring and writing about her experiences. To learn more about her and her work, visit https://peytonbigora.wixsite.com/website.
Gianna is currently a junior at American University in Washington, D.C., and is majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. She is the managing editor of Her Campus at American University. Gianna enjoys writing about Women's Advocacy, Politics and Pop Culture. She also loves to travel and find hole-in-the-wall restaurants in D.C.
Jordyn Habib

American '24

Jordyn is in her second year at American University double majoring in CLEG and Arab World Studies. She writes about anything in terms of politics, DC news and history, as well as pop culture. She is also a section editor for Her Campus and involved with American's high school model UN conference.
Mackenzie Riley

American '23

Mackenzie is a sophomore at American University studying SIS with a minor in Spanish. She loves writing poetry and exploring Washington DC in her free time, discovering new hidden gems. She enjoys writing about environmental sustainability, campus safety, and self care!
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