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Navigating a New City


You know how everyone’s always telling you to go your own way, to chart your own course… to NOT to be a sheep? Well don’t listen to them. BE a sheep. Now, I’m not telling you to be a sheep your whole life, following others around blindly with the intention of fitting in. However, there are some instances when it is beneficial to follow the pack.

I recently moved to Washington, D.C., for an internship. Prior to this experience, I have never lived anywhere besides Utah. When I first arrived here, I knew no one and had no idea how to get around. (This is largely due to the fact that I have no sense of direction.) So let’s just say I got lost. A lot. As a person who always has to know her surroundings, this was hard. This continued for the first week until I started noticing the people around me. D.C is a hustling city; people have places to be. If you’ve ever been to D.C, you’ll notice this on the metro. Everyone reads. Time is precious and even 10-15 minutes on the metro can be used productively. Once off the metro, everyone hastily walks through the gates and onto the escalators. Now, this is where it gets important to be a sheep and where I failed my first week. If you’re not planning on walking up the escalator, stand to the right so people can pass. I learned this the hard way. Old ladies will hit you with their giant purses. Escalator etiquette is a thing.

In addition to navigating around a new city, navigating a new job/internship can be intimidating as well. Dressing well for your internship is important. While I had internships before, I never had to dress business professional like I do working in a congressional office on the Hill. Observing what others in your office wear is a good technique in determining how to dress appropriately. Not only with dress, but when it comes to how to act, watch the other staff members. Obviously watching other interns is probably not the best idea, but someone like your supervisor would be a great model. Observing and mimicking their professional manners are great “sheep-like” tendencies to pave a path to success.

So there you have it. Be a sheep. Sometimes it can save your life. Being conscious of other people and observing their manners can be helpful at times. Just know when to not be a sheep.

Sources: http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/109/590x/Lamb-in-the-grass-5…

Kaylee Ann Mortensen is a student at the University of Utah studying International Studies and English. In her free time she can be found reading, trying to master the language of french, looking up pictures of grizzly bears, and eating french fries.  
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