As soon as I took my first step on east D.C. grounds, I looked around and knew this place was possibly destined for me in the long run. My first impression was that it’s much greener than I thought it would be. It reminded me quite a bit of Costa Rica. Humid, green, and occasionally some rain with the humidity still present. Overall, a really beautiful sight. But the thing that stood out to me the most was the traditional home style in the suburban area. People well-dressed walking past you, fast communication among people in the public. Basically, the Netflix TV series “House of Cards” is a reality after all.
I flew in from San Diego, my hometown. I could not have had sensed a bigger culture change than the one I did. The west coast is a laid back coast with laid back people. But here, I experienced what people had warned me about. Not only about just D.C., but New York, and all other north east big cities. People like things fast. I was ordering a Subway a few days ago, and like many of us, I was just a little bit indecisive on which ingredients to include in my sub. But this time I wasn’t encouraged to “take your time”. I was told, “you can get back in the line when you’re ready until you know what you’re getting.” This basically sums up one of my impressions of this area: If you don’t know where you are going or you don’t know what you want, this city is probably not made for you.
Other than just the D.C. area, going to Virginia and Maryland was nice to have on our schedule. Annapolis was one of those east coast cities that I have always wanted to visit. As soon as we arrived at our destination, I got the sense of another traditional vibe and lifestyle. Small town, Navy, great seafood, and traditional houses with a lot of meaning behind it, like William Paca’s home, which we attended.
What I look forward to the most is exploring the city much more than I have. Not just D.C., but a trip to the “Big Apple” would be something I would consider doing at some point during our long 2 months in the East Coast. That is the one thing this side of the country will always have over the West. The fact that one can drive just a pair of hours to one direction and you’re at another historic city is remarkable. It’s something that one cannot experience in never-ending California. However, other than simply visiting different locations, the main thing I look forward to the most is the people I will meet in the following months to come. I was told that the networking we have during our time here will be the most valuable experience we will gain in our whole summer as interns in nation’s capital.
I learned a few things in my first week of my internship. Number one, most reporters in this area either knows each other, or at least knows someone that just so happens to know another well-known reporter. I was talking to one of my colleagues about journalists that I often read on a daily basis, and I received many responses such as, “Oh, him? I know him, we go way back.”, or perhaps, “Oh, my friend works with her at the moment.” Basically, the networking in the city is much more connected than we think. At least at the professional level. And that is exactly what we are here for.