I’ve put off this final blog post for about a week now…not because I’m lazy or because I gave up on writing. I just have no idea how to wrap the best experience of my life into words. I learned more than I ever expected, so I guess that’s what I can share.
-They’re complex. Everyone has a story, a reason, a goal. Rigorous programs like this bring out the best and worst in everyone because of the workload and time crunch. You either handle it, excel at it, or fall flat on your face. I saw people fall into all three categories.
-They’re intelligently stupid. For my age group, I came across some of the brightest and capable people I’ve ever met. I also came across people who knew how smart they were. What these few don’t understand is that what they know now is simply a baseline for the potential they have in the future. It’s unfortunate to see that they think these people already know everything.
-You’ll never see the same faces twice, but they’re always happy to help. I can’t tell you how many times I got lost, confused or just curious. Regardless of where I was, I found a friendly face with more knowledge of the city than I possessed. No one was familiar, but everyone was friendly. I felt comfortable in the chaos.
-It’s beautiful. The buildings, the monuments, the people, the history. I could sit on top of the Old Post Office for hours and just stare. DC is where everything happens, but it’s also the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. I know it sounds a little fangirl-ish, but just look at some of the photos. It’s amazing.
–Curiosity is not a bad quality to have. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions. I don’t ever think I can possibly know everything, so I’m always asking more questions. Before, I saw that as a weak trait, a sign of a naive girl with dreams that were out of reach.
-My dreams aren’t actually that far out of reach. Sure, I have some work to do this year, but I met so many people that told me I could make it because they did. I worked hard this summer during my internship and in creating a network. Everyone I spoke with told me they started in a similar place; with a big dream and a strong work ethic.