It’s late June, and I’m sitting in a coffee shop filled with sweaty young professionals in suits. As I sip my iced coffee and bask in free air conditioning, a friend poses a question to me.
"Don’t you just feel like a kid in a candy store?"
I sit back. I think about it.
I do. I really, really do.
When people ask me what Washington DC is like, I say it’s homogenous. That answer often elicits a puzzled look in reply. It is homogeneous, I repeat so they know they heard correctly, because this city is just filled to the brim with people cut from the exact same mold. They are young, energetic, incredibly motivated, and searching for ways to exert influence to make a difference.
And it’s awesome.
I’ve been in DC for over two months now, and it’s hard to articulate how incredible this city is. I’m star-struck every single day by the history, the celebrity decision-makers, and the things I’m used to seeing on TV. I’m humbled by people’s stories, backgrounds, and ambitions. And I’m driven to keep working hard because I, too, want to make a difference.
I still have a few weeks before I officially move back to New Jersey, but I can already pick out the moments that truly defined my summer in DC. Watching a vote take place in the House gallery. Having drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the IMF. Appreciating the beauty of monuments at night. Watching 4th of July fireworks on the National Mall. Plotting political endeavors at Friday afternoon jazz in the sculpture garden of the National Gallery of Art. Being made fun of by the Assistant Secretary of State as he walks by my cubicle at work.
And that’s just the beginning.
This city is eclectic. The atmosphere is exciting. The people are incredible. But most of all, Washington DC is a place where ambition meets motivation, creating real impact and making a difference.
So yes, in a city where everybody wears a suit and heard that story on NPR this morning, I can’t help but feel like a kid in a candy store. Can you blame me?