From Perfect Strangers to Family in Eight Weeks

By Emily McDonough — As of Saturday evening, I found myself back home in Chicago after completing my eight week summer internship experience in Washington DC.

Needless to say, there are a lot of things that I will miss about DC; the fulfilling work I was doing throughout my internship, the amazing historical landmarks which make up the city landscape, and the amazing opportunities to both learn something new and have fun throughout the city.  As I begin to transition back to everyday life at home I have found that there was one aspect of my summer that I am missing in particular: the people that I surrounded myself with throughout the summer.

Prior to beginning my journey in the district, the people that would be making the journey with me were not really something that I had given too much thought to; I was so extremely focused on what kind of work I would be doing in my internship, as well as the classes I was going to be taking, so the fact that I knew absolutely no one in the city did not even cross my mind.  Little did I know how big of an impact that my new, and now extremely dear, friends would have on my experience this summer.

Throughout my eight weeks I had the pleasure of meeting people from all corners of the country, as well as the world, that were each unique in their own way.  These individuals came from all walks of life, all areas of study, and all had their own distinctive passions for aspirations for their lives.  Over the course of the summer, I found myself with people who became my close group friends and this close group of friends became my family.  We relied on one another for everything; from help with studying for our finals and encouragement to get up every morning to begin our twelve-hour work days, to applauding one another’s accomplishments and being there to blow off steam after a stressful week. 

Yes, over an extremely short period of time, these once perfect strangers became my support system.  They are the only ones who experienced this summer in the unique way that I experienced my own, and I know that I will be able to rely on them for anything in the future.

I feel extremely fortunate to have met such an amazing and inspirational group of individuals.  They pushed me to be more and do more, think outside my comfort zone, and to embrace every situation that came my way.  I know that my experiences this summer would not have been nearly as significant or rewarding if it was not for all of them.

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