Reporting from D.C.: Developing global perspective while studying stateside

Posted by Paulina Phelps

Ten weeks have never felt so short: while experiencing new people, places, and ideologies, I've remained acutely aware of time. This could be the nature of being 20-a period when life is supposed to be simultaneously a party, a moment to get your foot in the door and an occasion to form convictions. These high-standards are stressful on their own let alone when trying to achieve them all at once in a limited time.

There are many things about studying abroad in Washington D.C. that are different from college. In D.C. our schedule changes every week and we are only told what's on next week's agenda the Thursday before. Not only do our weeks change, but our professor always makes sure to introduce us to a variety of speakers and news organizations as part of the journalism program. 

My ways of thinking of others and myself have also changed while away from Skidmore. Since arriving in D.C., I have come to realize the degree to which my thinking was influenced by the college bubble. For instance, while at school I become much less concerned with the world's issues and instead focused on my own reality. This is something I have noticed and spoken about with my friends; my level of awareness and understanding of the outside world is stronger here than ever before. 

Even without my journalism studies and work, while living in a city like D.C. everyone is aware of the people, places and issues of the world. I feel that my place in the world is more determined here than it is in college. 

Despite this enhanced awareness of the world around me, I go to more places alone. In my experience at Skidmore, even when I chose to have alone time, it most often led to loneliness (I've found these feelings subside as you get older). However, in the city, being alone is more of a mutual experience. This camaraderie is shown in a subtle smile or nod while riding the metro or sitting in a coffee shop. 

Keep checking the blog for more entrees as my time in DC comes to a close! 

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