–If you come to UCDC, the first week will be a flurry of activity. Between meeting your new neighbors and all the other students, working a new internship 9-5 every day, exploring the city, getting lost, finding your way, and seeing as much as you can right off the bat, you’ll be lucky to find time to sleep.
–Stopping to take a deep breath is very necessary. I came out of the gate blazing a trail as fast as I could, and I now know it’ll take a couple days to recover.
–The first week is kinda like freshman year, but it’s not really. Yeah, you’re living in a new place with a lot of new people, but unlike freshman year, everyone is friendly, confident, competent, and mature. Also because the quarter is only ten weeks and not a whole year, there won’t be the same intra-dorm drama. That said, GO TO THE UCDC ACTIVITIES. I quote Will Farrell in Old School, “Everybody’s doing it!” Just don’t go streaking through the quad and into the gymnasium.
–Hit the cliche locations early and get them out of the way. You’re going to feel and look like a tourist the first week anyways, so you might as well go where tourists are expected [the famous monuments, Smithsonians, the most famous hot spots to eat and drink at].
–Abraham Lincoln is frickin’ majestic. Bask in his glory and have an All-American epiphany.
–Stick to your normal routine so you’re not shell-shocked. If you like baseball, watch baseball. If you’re used to an early morning run, go run. If you need a cup of coffee at 4 PM to make it through the evening, drink up Johnny Java. You’ll feel more at home more quickly if you give yourself what you need.
So in summary, have a good time, but pace yourself. There are nine more weeks left, and while you might feel like you’ve been here for ages already, remember that back home it’s their first day of school and you’d be doing yourself a disservice to wear yourself out too quickly.
And so even though my feet are sore from my daily four mile round trip in work shoes, I quote the great Ice Cube, “today was a good day.” Because I’ve still got over two months of exploring to go.