First Time in D.C.

Posted on Monday, Jul 15, 2019

Are you nervous about moving to D.C.? I’m here to show you why you shouldn’t be. I know its nerve-wracking thinking about moving to a big city, especially if you’ve never had to live on your own. Metro stations, skyscrapers, business professionals- it can all be intimidating at first. But let me tell you a little bit about my experience living here for the summer, and hopefully it will be helpful to you!
1. Metro Stations: It’s really not that bad. If you're living in Crystal City, it’s about a 10-minute walk to the metro. From there, the blue or yellow line will take you into the city. At first it can be difficult to figure out if you're going the right way, but there are transit maps everywhere. Also, don’t be afraid to ask someone if you're really lost; people are generally nice and willing to help :-) P.S: don’t forget to fill up your card with some money whenever you get your card! (You can do this at the station itself).
2. First Day at the Office: This was one of the scariest parts for me. I honestly didn’t know what to wear because I hadn’t been told prior to my arrival. If your supervisor doesn’t give you advice on proper attire beforehand, I would recommend you ask. Also, say hello to everyone you meet! On the elevators, in the bathrooms, etc. You never know who you might run into!
3. Making Friends: Moving to a new city can be isolating at first. If you don't know many people here, try getting to know your fellow PPIP interns! It’s really great when you get to hang out on the weekends together. I would also suggest getting to know the other interns in your office. It’s nice to have friends outside of PPIP so that you are constantly meeting new people. In addition to making friends, try asking your supervisor if she has any connections that she could introduce to you. Someone who has similar career interests as you? Ask them if they would like to go out for coffee. One person can change your life. Don’t underestimate the power of networking!!
I know this can be an intimidating experience at first, especially if you're generally shy like me. But don't worry. You will grow immensely because of it and this internship program will impact you in ways you never imagined. How will you know if you never give it a chance?

Abigail Mathew
U.S. Dept. of Justice - Criminal Division of International Affairs
Washington, D.C. | summer 2019