Moving into a different environment is a task that most people tend to struggle with mentally, especially in an intern situation. You’re essentially uprooting your entire life and leaving your friends and family (including your dogs- arguably the hardest part) to temporarily take up residence in a new area. As for myself, I had never been to DC, but I knew it was going to be a major change from the small town in Texas that I grew up in. As a junior agricultural economics student, naturally I’m an outlier in the city, but I’ve found ways to cope with that:
- Perhaps the most important thing is to be satisfied with what makes you stand out from the crowd. The city, especially Washington, D.C., is a melting pot of people from all over the world that come here to work at the epicenter of American democracy. Each distinctive individual difference is what makes D.C. so special. Be comfortable with your own uniqueness and understand that it’s okay to not conform to certain groups.
- Lean on the other Aggies in your cohort. All of the TAMU interns in the student housing are essentially in the same situation. It’s okay to reach out to another intern when you’re feeling homesick or maybe you’ll need to empathize with them when they’re feeling down.
As Aggies we have made a nonverbal agreement to subject ourselves to a lifetime of learning and broadening our horizons. That dedication is proven through acts that encourage us to adapt to change and make the most of a situation. However, some people handle change better than others. I, like many others, have good days and bad days when it comes to being away from home. However, if you take care of yourself and call home regularly, your internship will be smooth sailing until it’s time to come home.