Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Hello D.C.

As the alarm goes off at 6:00 a.m. every morning, I groggily roll out of bed and miss the days where I could wake up 10 minutes before class, throw clothes on and make it to my lecture on time. Then I look at the view off my balcony and see the Capitol building, realizing that the painfully early mornings and long days are completely worth it.

My name is Kelly, and I am a sophomore from UNC studying in Washington, D.C. this semester. I’m taking classes at Georgetown University while interning at the Washington Post about 30 hours a week. No, I know, D.C. isn’t exactly a foreign country — but it sure isn’t Chapel Hill. It’s a bustling city full of politics, history and culture. And so far, I love every busy minute. 

I’ll be reporting to you all semester on the ins and outs of living in a city and interning. The first thing I learned from living in D.C. is to be prepared and plan out your days in advance. When I get up in the morning and leave the house, I usually don’t return until after 9:00 p.m.  From my internship in Northwest D.C. at the Post, I trek over to Georgetown for class. I have to carry my life in my purse.  So for any of you thinking about taking on an internship in the city this summer, here are a few pieces of advice for you!

  1. Learn how to get to work before the first day. Chapel Hill transit is a bit easier to master than the public transportation routes in large cities. D.C. uses the Metro system, which really isn’t too terrible, either.  When you come up the escalators from the Metro, however, and everyone is speeding by around you, it can get a little overwhelming. I made the mistake of not leaning how to navigate to work before the first day and got lost — luckily I left my apartment two hours early.  After circling around the area several times, I haphazardly spotted my building. The roads in D.C. go by letters and numbers, but there are also streets with state names that run diagonally.  So for the directionally challenged, I highly recommend not only doing a test run, but also studying the city streets on Google maps.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes. In the city, heels just aren’t practical. I tried wearing heels to work a couple of times without bringing a change of shoes, but my feet were screaming in pain by the end of the day. In D.C., many professionals wear tennis shoes to work every morning and simply change their shoes into something more fashionable right before walking into the building. Though more comfortable shoes may look silly, everyone does it, and believe me — your feet will thank you.
  3. Plan out your day the night before. This includes your outfit, preparing your lunch, getting your reading/homework done, etc. I don’t know about everyone else, but I know that I’m not the biggest fan of mornings. The only bonus is that I get to watch the sun rise. If you just take the time to plan out your outfit the night before and have a lunch in the refrigerator ready to go, you’ll save yourself a lot of unneeded stress. I live in an apartment with six other girls and with everyone rushing around in the morning it can get hectic. And I know at school, reading can often be done right before class. But if you are going to be taking classes and interning simultaneously, you seriously want to consider getting your work done far in advance. There’s no time for procrastination.

I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences as I journey through my first time living in the city and working at a large newspaper. Until next time!

Similar Reads👯‍♀️