#1: I learned that being in your own office from 9-5 with minimal interaction is legitimately prison for extroverts. I would literally make up conversations in my head so that I could feel like I was socializing. And whenever anyone even walked by and said, “hey how are you” I would launch into a whole diatribe about how nice the weather is and “don’t you just love the color of this door and how was your morning and what are you doing later” because I needed PEOPLE. So I learned that if I have an office job, I’m going to have to find meetings to attend. On the days when there were events or tasks that involved other people or being outside the office, I was fine. There was a break from the prison and it was a great day. But the days when it was just my computer, the white door, and me, I died a little inside.
#2: I learned that Virginia Foxx works harder than my mom. And that is really, really saying something. Because my mom is President of, like, seven Boards, owns her own business, helps my brother and me, is there for my dad, is always giving to her friends and to the community, and gets about six hours of sleep a night. Foxx gets four hours of sleep a night, and told me she wished she didn’t have to sleep. She is one of the only Congresspeople committed to meeting personally with her constituents (Most Congresspeople have their staff meet with constituents). She walks faster than I do, because, “There’s no time for commuting!”, and she rarely eats while at work. Regardless of your political views, it’s rather amazing that one person could do so much, that she’s a WOMAN in Congress (we need sooooo many more….), and that she holds so strongly to her beliefs. She’s considered one of the most conservative politicians around, and I think in a world where people are incredibly opinionated but at the same time very hypocritical, it’s cool that she always has the exact same stance on every piece of legislation. I’ve learned that I admire her so much and that there is so much more to a person than his/her political views.
#3: I learned that it’s time to make friends when you start befriending your Uber drivers. At the end of my first week, I took an Uber home instead of taking the Metro as a tiny reward for myself (haha). I had the best conversation with my driver and then bought him Starbucks after, and then got back to my apartment and had a crisis as a realized that “I just acted like that driver was my best friend and oh my gosh I need friends…”
#4: I learned that 6-person apartments are so much better when the other five roommates move in. And that the best way to make friends with people in your building is to knock on every apartment door and ask if the person living inside has a baking pan. And then when every single person says no, say, “Well, I’m trying to make brownies… So when I find one I’ll bring you one.” And then the next day when you go and buy one (because no one had one you could borrow) and you take the brownies back to all the people you bothered the day before, they will think you’re awesome and want to be your friend and because they know so little about you they’ll actually continue to believe you’re awesome for the entirety of your stay in DC.
#5: I learned that I’m not the only one who hops from coffee shop to coffee shop every night to eat a cookie and write a blog post. Because I would see the same people at all the shops. Wait, maybe they were stalking me and what I actually need to learn is to be more vigilant…. In any case, DC is a rather intellectual city and I like that.
#6: I learned that my experiences on the Metro merit a book, and I am now writing one. And if you ever want to read a sample of it and give me some feedback, hit me up!
#7: I learned that no pair of heels is worth wearing them so that they can “complete your outfit”. Because, news flash, you’re wearing business clothes so your outfit is disappointing, anyway. And you walk at least six miles a day, so heels are just not going to cut it.
#8: I learned that the statistics about DC having an incredibly high homeless population are probably underestimates. The latest statistics say there are almost 8,000 homeless people in DC, but the fact that I saw at least 100 during my short commute to work every day leads me to believe that there are probably even more than 8,000. But the homeless are the people I’m going to miss the most. I’m going to miss the man who sat at the corner of First and North Capitol and said, “Hi, good morning, how are you, have a great day, enjoy yourself” to every single person that walked by. I’m going to miss the man who never stopped waving, even though no one waved back. I’m going to miss Condo, my friend who sleeps on the sidewalk by Union Station. He’s always reading one of his two Bibles, and every morning he asks me if I’ve prayed today. When I told him where I go to college, he started greeting me a bit more personally, “Hope, go pray. And then thank God for the Blue Devils.”
#9: I learned that North Carolina is the luckiest state of the fifty because we have Pat McCrory as our Governor. It was an honor to work in his Federal Relations Office, and to see firsthand the hard work he is doing to make North Carolina an even better place. I’m going to miss taking Jazzercise breaks on Fridays with the ladies in the office, and I will especially miss the hardworking, positive, motivated attitudes of all of the people on the Hill.