The Beginning: A Semester in Washington, D.C.

2017 has been a whirlwind of events thus far.

Inauguration Day 2017

Within the first week of January, I moved to Washington, D.C. for the spring semester. Before I knew it, I was launched into a new type of world, so it seemed. D.C. natives refer to the District as the “bubble” because it is remarkably easy to be wrapped up in the happenings of the District, while unusually difficult to see outside of it. D.C. has brought about challenges and discoveries. Inauguration Day revealed the tipping point of how both sides of the aisle perceived the new administration, and it was full of celebrations as well as protests. And when I had the opportunity to attend the Michigan Inaugural Gala through my internship later that night, I saw Democrats and Republicans dancing and laughing together, as one. While there are numerous things to discuss, there is one positive ideal that has stood out to me so far. People are intensely passionate about doing good here.

People are intensely passionate about doing good here.

Often times, Congress, organizations, and D.C. in general manage to obtain a skewed reputation from the public viewpoint. Whether it involves politics or not, there are controversial topics and far-reaching decisions discussed each day in the district. However, I am able to see that each of these organizations, representatives, senators, companies, etc. truly attempt to make this nation a better place. Though they may have contrasting ideas on how to go about change in this country, the partisan lines are easier to look past once realizing that these people simply care about others and the country they live in.

Every Wednesday, our class meets with different organizations or companies and we are able to catch a glimpse of what each one does. For example, we have met with organizations, such as World Vision, as well as think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation. Each of these organizations want to do good for those around them, and it is refreshing as well as motivating.

As I continue to learn and explore the city, I am captivated by it more and more. Walking past the neoclassical architecture, the White House, and more has yet to get old. I am challenged to my core in copious ways that I had not imagined, but am growing immensely because of it.

Cheers to new adventures full of learning!

On the steps of the Library of Congress, with the Capitol building and the Washington Monument in the background.

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