My semester in DC felt like my shortest semester of university yet.
To be fair, I think it literally was — because it was administered through the University of California and not Notre Dame, my schedule turned out a little differently than a regular ND semester, and I wound up finishing classes and my internship about two weeks before everyone back on campus.
But the actual timing aside, in terms of personal lived experience, this semester just flew by, especially the second half. I’ve discussed this a little already, but after my 21st birthday weekend, the whole semester really picked up, and things improved exponentially. The first half of the semester, from September to October, was kind of a drag. It was hot and miserable and I felt like I hadn’t made any good friends to do things with. Then, come mid-late October, the weather cooled down, I finished up my domestic violence liaison trainings at the MPD that had been taking up several hours each week, and I finally established a solid group of friends. After that, everything turned around.
I think each weekend after my 21st birthday, I had something fun to do — the following weekend, Jane visited, then Mariana visited, then it was Thanksgiving, then the semester was over. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun.
The Friday of my last day of work and my last day of the semester, my friends and I treated ourselves to a nice dinner to celebrate the end of it all. In preparation for my upcoming semester in Paris, I chose a French restaurant called Le Diplomate. Then, we headed to the Smithsonian National Zoo for their Christmas lights show.
The zoo was one of the sites in DC that I had wanted to visit all semester, but that I hadn’t gotten around to. And in an almost poetic manner, when I finally did visit, it was my last night in DC.
It was a nice way to say goodbye to the city. I got to spend time with my friends, enjoy the lights, and relax knowing that all of my work for the semester was done. Even though it was a short semester, it was a productive one. It was my first time working a full-time politics-related job, my first time living in an apartment, my first time cooking for myself every day, and my first time living in a real American city. I know what I experienced in DC wasn’t full-blown independent adult life — I still had the help of my family and university to support me — but I think it was the closest I’d been up until that point.
And you know what? I think I did an okay job.
That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this semester in Washington, DC. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Cape: Vintage (thrifted, Street Scene Vintage)
Blouse: A boutique at a mall in Kathmandu, Nepal