So Now I'm a Washingtonian

This semester I decided to take a leap. I’m a senior, graduating in May, and for my last semester I’ve left Hofstra and New York City for Washington D.C. I’m studying with a program called The Washington Center, an academic internship program that gives students a taste of a full time job but keeps the structure of college.

I came to this city because I wanted more "real world" experience. I'm interning four days a week at Voice of America, where I am editing videos. I get up in the morning, go to my internship, come hope in the afternoon, and, besides on Monday when I have class, relax.

I am loving my experience so far! I am loving feeling like I’m a working professional and not walking around on a campus every day. I truly feel like these next three months are going to prepare me for the rest of my life.

Besides the professional element, there is plenty to love about being in D.C. I guess it wasn’t really surprising when I dropped this on my parents last semester because I left state for school and I studied abroad, so another semester away wasn’t too big a deal.

It just feels natural for me though. I love going new places and exploring new cities. I’m also a nerd obsessed with museums so getting down here was a must! The first weekend alone I toured the White House and walked the mall from The Capitol to The Lincoln Memorial. Since, I’ve explored Georgetown and been to the African American History Museum.

TWC has set us up right in the city, in a neighborhood called NoMa. Our resident hall is three blocks from the subway stop and two from a grocery store, so really the location is perfect! But both came with surprising details for me.

In D.C., the Metro stops aren’t a flat fee like they are in NYC, you pay by how long you ride, and there are peak and off peak hours. Luckily, I have a travel stipend this semester and my ride is one of the least expensive. It’s actually less than New York: $2 for off peak, and $2.25 peak. Also, in D.C. you have to pay for the plastic bags you use in grocery stores— five cents a bag. Not horrible, but it adds up over time, especially when they sell reusable ones for 99 cents.

There are little things throughout this city that are different from what I’d gotten used to in New York, most of which I like. There are more trees in D.C. and there is more open space. In New York the buildings are so tall sometimes I feel like they’ll swallow me whole.

I miss New York, but there are so many more things that I’m looking forward to this semester. The cherry blossoms will bloom in the spring. There’s an underground art show in DuPont Circle that I can’t wait to see, and come midterms I can literally go and study in the Library of Congress!

This semester holds so much potential and so many opportunities, and I hope you’ll all stick with me the next few months to read the play by play.

S.H

Univeristy of Utah

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