My name is Laurie Browne. I am a senior at UC Santa Barbara majoring in Cultural Anthropology, and I will try my best to write interesting and entertaining blogs while here during the fall quarter. My family lives in the DC area, this was one of the main reasons I joined the UCDC program. The fall in DC is also the perfect time (in my opinion) to come to this city as the weather is not such a shocking difference. A little bit chilly on some days but the transition to the cutting cold of winter is softer, and the humidity of the summer has dissipated. Pretty soon the leaves will change colors and you will see many photos from me.
My first week at UCDC was a little bit nerve racking. I hadn’t secured an internship before arriving and by Thursday I was feeling anxious about it. After waiting for four days, on Friday I had secured an internship with my first choice, the World Affairs Council, thanks to our fabulous co-coordinators. It has all been a time to trust the process. The staff here and the other students are more than helpful and I really feel like I’m part of a supportive community, even though I have been kind of sticking to myself this week.
Moving to the city was a bit of a transition because I live in a beachside town where everyone knows everyone. In saying that, Washingtonians are very welcoming. The UCDC Facebook page is also helpful in meeting up with new friends and getting a heads up to different events that your fellow students are attending or organizing. There is so much going on in this city from music, art, grad school fairs, NGO informational nights, even a visit from the Pope. The Facebook page is a great form of communication with your neighbors to find events outside of the UCDC hosted meet and greet and if you need to borrow a corkscrew, computer charger, or if someone has left their laundry in the dryer, it all gets posted!
DC is easy to navigate and this is a safe neighborhood, but please make sure to cross the road safely. DC drivers don’t wait for you to get to the other side. Sometimes they don’t even stop, they just slow down. I saw a woman and her baby navigate between cars crossing the street today. However it is now Monday and I have survived all street crossings. The metro is close by and kind of a fun place to people watch. I encourage people to be brave in the big city and take every opportunity to explore DC. There is so much history here to dive into, the Smithsonian museums are free and amazing, visit the monuments of the mall (also free), the zoo is free, on top of all this DC has an active music and art life. I’m not one for political events but I guess there are some around haha (they are everywhere)!