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I had a lot of preconceived notions about Fourth of July in our nation’s capital. Before I got to D.C., I assumed it would be a city-wide celebration with mass amounts of people. After being in D.C. and getting a lot of recommendations about things to do for Independence Day, I thought there would be an insane amount of people, food trucks and events mostly at the Mall. Actual Fourth of July was not what I expected, but still fun and different than Arizona’s celebrations.

On the fourth, I had a lazy morning. I woke up around 11 AM, getting some much-needed sleep. Then I made some cheesy eggs and potatoes and got ready for the day. Mustafa, Guillermo, Alex, Saarah, Monica and I headed to the Mall once everyone was ready. We missed the parade, but there were some food trucks and folk life festival events happening. We walked around and saw the different booths at folk life. At one of the booths, Monica, Saarah and I painted half of a cardboard bird while the boys did other things. Then we all played a game of cards and quickly decided to go back to WISH because not a lot was happening and the museums had large lines.

Once we got back, we played more games, listened to music and just hung out. Alex, Mustafa, Guillermo and I headed to fireworks at the Mall around 7 and sat in between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. I ended up moving to sit with another friend of mine from ASU in a different program and a bunch of other ASU students I’ve never met (see picture above). We had a lot of fun watching the fireworks and catching up on life. It was relaxing and amazing all at once. The fireworks outlining the Washington Monument were definitely a sight to see and made me awestricken. Afterward, I met back up with Guillermo and Mustafa and we headed home. At WISH I talked to Sid, our security guard, for a long while about patriotism, Fourth of July and life. It was a nice conversation to end the day.

Fourth of July was great but way different than what I expected. People had warned many of us to avoid the metro on the fourth afternoon because there would be too many people, but in reality, it was mostly fine except on the way home from the fireworks (and even then it wasn’t absolutely horrible). I thought the Mall would have more going on and have a different feel to it than usual, but it felt like an average day to me except the heightened amount of tourists. It didn’t help that it was on the verge of raining all day with light sprinkling here and there. Hopefully, I’ll be back next summer if I’m not abroad so I can do Fourth of July again, but hit more of the events.

I’ve had a lot of realizations this week. For instance, I have no idea what I want to do with my future or even what I’m interested in now because I’m too interested in too many things. My supervisor’s boss asked me into her office to see if I would want to come back next summer if it’s a paid position. This sounds great and smart to put down roots and long-term relationships, but I also want new experiences and I don’t know what part of the office interests me the most and how it’ll fit into my future goals. I was planning on trying to intern abroad next summer, but I wouldn’t know for sure until spring semester and I need a private sector internship for another program I’m in, but this government. So basically mind is racing with a lot what if’s, how can I’s and ‘????????.’ I guess my future isn’t as black and white as I’ve made it seem these past few years. I’ve also realized I have no idea how to communicate these feelings with my boss which is necessary for this future possible internship to be a good fit for both the office and myself. So hopefully that’ll be something I learn by the next post. I’m realizing I have a lot of things to work on, think about and look into. I’ve learned other technical and conceptual things this week too related to Excel, data reports, investigations/special agents and the justice system as a whole. It’s been an information overload from the beginning and a lot of facts I would have never even thought about or you can only get from experience and other people’s stories. I’m learning a lot and growing as a person during my time here.


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