After much deliberation over how I should spend the summer after freshman year, I finally decided that I wanted to intern in Washington D.C. I landed an incredible internship in the House of Representatives working for a Congressman from Texas. Although I have interned in the House before, I was really nervous about moving to D.C., making friends, and excelling in my position. The summer in D.C. would be the longest I had ever been away from Texas and I was not sure how I would fit in to the culture in the unfamiliar city. Thankfully, most of the interns in my office were just as eager to make friends as I was and we became close in less than a week.
The experience was surreal. Walking into the Capitol and knowing that I am in the beating heart of the country every day has inspired a phenomenal sense of amazement in me. Politically, this is a very wild time for the country and that reflected in every single work day being totally different. I loved the new challenges presented to me, as they changed so frequently. My boss made sure that all of us interns got the best experience possible. Every day we would all get to sit in on different committee hearings, and in these committee hearings we would often be less than 10 feet away from the Congressional members of that Committee. The most notable one I got to attend was the Peter Strzok hearing. I was practically sitting right behind him, and I’m pretty sure I was on national television because of that hearing.
During casual strolls through the halls I would pass politicians who are literally on the front page of the news every week. I even went to a few committee meetings in the Senate and I ran into senators who had literally run for president – people who are practically celebrities. High ranking members of Congress hosted intern events after work, and provided everyone free food and gifts and met with every intern that wanted a picture.
I feel like I have learned so much about politics and the workings of Washington D.C. from this internship. The most important thing that this internship has reaffirmed is that people are genuinely good and care about the well-being of our country, regardless if they agree or disagree with your own political beliefs. It is so easy to get divided, but if we look at the bigger picture, I truly believe that everyone is striving to do what they think is best for the country.
My time in D.C. has not been all about work. I have gotten to see the city from a residential standpoint and I LOVE it. Some of my favorite memories with my friends were grabbing pizza late at night and taking it to the steps of the Lincoln memorial, paddleboarding on the Potomac River, and Jazz in the Garden. Jazz in the Garden is a friday tradition in the summer where everyone brings picnic blankets to the Sculpture Garden and listen to Jazz music right in the middle of the city. After my time here, I feel like I have barely scratched the surface on what D.C. has to offer, the options are limitless! My internship is wrapping up and sadly everyone will have to part ways to go back home, but I truly have made lifelong friends this summer and memories that will last a lifetime. If you are thinking about interning in D.C. and even if you don’t want to go into the political field, I highly recommend it as it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!