DC – Expectations vs. Reality

From my eighth grade class trip, I decided that one day, I wanted to live and work in Washington, DC. Now, with my internship on Capitol Hill, I’ve had the opportunity to live that dream. I appreciate that opportunity greatly, and it’s been fascinating to learn more about what DC is really like and how it differs from home.

As a lifelong Michigander, it has been very strange to live on the east coast. Different economies and geographies lead to different cultures and priorities. I didn’t really understand what people from the Midwest say about the east coast until I came here, but now I do understand why people accuse DC of being a bubble that can be out of touch. In DC, all the political issues seen on the news feel more urgent and close-up, and sometimes it can feel very insulated. It has been nice to leave the city when I’ve had the opportunity to do so, because from this, I’ve learned that each city has its own atmosphere. Keeping in touch with the rest of America is crucial for anyone who wants to work for the government, because not every kind of person is really represented in DC. That’s true just from the reality of how expensive everything is here, or how hard it can be to be connected enough to be hired for some of these jobs.

From living in DC, I’ve learned more about how much power this place has to affect the country and the world, and the responsibility we have to be careful with that kind of power. To me, that means lowering restrictions to voting and making sure that people have what they need to stay informed, and that people in Washington feel the connection between the city and everywhere else.

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