From Sea to Shining Sea: The Big Move Across the Country

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Hello all! My name is Rachael and I will be blogging for UCDC during Fall 2014! I am an Orange County native and am currently in my 4th year at the beautiful UC Santa Barbara. Go Gauchos! During my time here I will be interning on Capitol Hill with one of our distinguished California senators.

If there is one thing I have learned since I moved to DC, it would have to be to take photo 4advantage of everything that is available to you. In the few short weeks I have been here I have been in the same church as Supreme Court justices, met THE archivist of the National Archives, and witnessed streets shut down just for the Obama brigade to make its way from one side of town to the other. The Washington Center also puts on Monday night forums where some of the most innovative political minds speak. So far these have included the Rock the Vote President, Ashley Spillane, and even the center’s very own Marc Sandalow, a renowned journalist with a passion for media scandals and everything interesting in the world of writing. In a couple of weeks, the center is even hosting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg! And if the speakers are not enough of a catch, there is free food at the forums… and for someone who struggles to buy anything but ramen and frozen dinners at the Safeway and Trader Joes just down the block, this is quite a big deal.

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I must say, the east coast is very different from the west coast, but in many of the best ways possible. I’m not sick of wearing heels to work yet and I have become accustomed to the business professional vibe at happy hour. The people are beyond welcoming; big shout out to the guy at the Farragut North Metro Station who helped me for 20 minutes figure out how to get from point A to point B. I swear this only happened once though. Now I’m helping people master the DC underground. I’m looking forward to experiencing a real Fall season for once in my life and can’t wait to discover the rest of the city.

Here’s a comprehensive list of my dos and don’ts of DC thus far:

DO: Get an Ethernet cord. The Internet in the Washington Center is equivalent to that of the dorms freshmen year… need I say more.

DO: Stand on the right side of the escalators while going up and walk on the left side.

DO: Go to happy hour! If you’re 21, that is. Happy hour is the heart of DC’s favorite past time, networking, and a beer after an 8-5 shift is a gift from above.

DO: Register your metro card! If you lose it then you can cancel it like a credit card and no harm done.

DO: Look both ways before you cross the street. The taxis will not stop but DC is a culture full of J walkers and you won’t get a ticket for it.

DON’T: Expect your supervisor to understand your needs as an intern. Let them know what you want to learn and be vocal, without being annoying, about how work is going.

DON’T: Miss out on walking tours that start at the Washington Center! There are night walks of the monuments and even a cupcake tour of Georgetown’s famous cupcake spots. My personal favorite is Baked and Wired.

DON’T: Forget to call your family and friends back home. They miss you just as much as you miss them and talking to them can help with the big move 3000 miles away.

XOXO, Gossip Rach

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