This summer was the wildest of rides, the coolest of experiences, and it was truly a period of growth for me.
Most of my summer was spent in the wonderful Washington, DC, so I essentially never really left school. I moved from GW's campus to an apartment near American University's campus into a studio stuffed (quite lovably stuffed) with four college-aged girls who were in the same intern program as I, so I never really left the "college experience" either.
I had the pleasure of interning at Radio America Network and the American Veterans Center as a fellow of the National Journalism Center. Throughout my internship, I learned a lot about radio broadcasting and got my hands on a state-of-the-art editing suite complete with Final Cut Pro. I was a pretty happy clam.
I met a lot of cool people and influencers in the political and journalism community. I made friends in the DC journo scene and even saw some old friends while meeting new ones. You never really notice how small of a town The District is until you start networking - everyone knows someone, and that someone knows everyone.
I paid rent for the first time in my life. I learned how to bake salmon all on my own. I actually tried to manage an actual income this summer. I went up to NYC all by myself for the first time (twice)! I learned that eating instant ramen and mac and cheese for dinner everyday is NOT the wisest move (read: it's a horrible thing to do to your body, no matter how good it is).
I also learned that sometimes, your own worst enemy is yourself. Comparing yourself to others, on both a personal and professional level, is a one track lane to self-sabatoge. I learned that I needed to have confidence in myself and trust the timeline of my life - only then could I function at my highest capacity and truly make progress in being content. I learned that being centered with myself and my life was and is vital to having healthy relationships with people. I learned how to turn feelings of envy into inspiration, essentially turning most bitter of lemons into cool, tart, and refreshing lemonade (I'm very thirsty right now, and I want some lemonade).
Did I magically transform into an adult this summer? No. "Budget" is a word I'm still very much allergic too. I guess you can add "saving" to that list as well. I still struggle with comparisons and envy. I'm still a very unsure person about certain things. I'm still working on being a more decisive, more confident, and more robust person. As a 19 year old, I'm still a work-in-progress - and I'm completely ok with that.
I'm about to start my sophomore year at GW, and there's going to be a lot of change and new projects on the horizon. Over the summer, I joined the Conflict News team as well as becoming a student journalist at The Media Line. I haven't been at Conflict all that long, but I am already so proud of what the team has accomplished thus far - and we're only going to get better. I'm also really stoked to explore my interest in foreign affairs/MENA-US relations further by continuing to write articles and produce content about the subject.
I'm also trying to brush up my French and learn Russian! Pretty cool stuff, no?
It's been an exhausting summer overall. I'm actually kind of impressed I made it through. Now, I'm taking a 3-week breather back home in sunny Southern California, then it's back to the hot and humid District of Columbia. I'm excited and a little bit nervous - but I'm ready for the hustle.