For those of you who do not spend a majority of your days in Morton Hall, the College has an office located in Washington, D.C.’s Dupont Circle. The office hosts winter, summer and academic year sessions, allowing students from the College to leave their quaint and cozy Williamsburg bubble and immerse themselves in a unique topic in the heart of D.C.
The theme of this semester in Washington is “Politics in the Era of Social Media,” which is ideal for students who dream of entering the media world but lack the typical educational background due to the College’s lack of a communications or journalism major. Through this program, students earn 13 credits for a full-time internship related to the topic and two seminar-style classes.
While it sounds like the perfect two-liner to make your resume shine, I’m still in complete denial about what this semester entails. I’ve only been to Washington, D.C. once, so the city and its confusing metro rail system are all new to me.
I am fully prepared to be a complete tourist on my morning commute, taking pictures of Capitol Hill that are hopefully artsy enough to post on Instagram. I am fully prepared to go to every museum and monument I can. I am fully prepared to network as much as possible during my few months here. I am fully prepared to find cool, trendy cafes where I can have bottomless brunches or Nutella donuts.
I am not fully prepared to work in a professional environment for the first time in my life. I am not fully prepared to work eight-hour days — sometimes nine-hour days when Congress is in session. I am not fully prepared to take a senior seminar and complete a research proposal. Most of all, I am not fully prepared to wake up at 7:30 a.m. every morning when it was a struggle for me to get out of bed for my 11 a.m. class last fall.
This semester will be both challenging and rewarding in the corniest way possible. I will have to balance a College workload with a full-time internship and very few opportunities for naps and Netflix binge-watching. I have the fortunate and unfortunate opportunity to get a glimpse into the real world, and it already scares me beyond belief.
For now, I am nestled in my beautiful Crystal City apartment, bonding Orientation-style with the 14 other students who share the same excitement and nervousness. All College students have different dreams and ideas of where they would like to be after graduation. Like the other 14 students, I am ready to take this step into my challenging and stimulating dream career path.