2020 is a year in American history like 1941 and 1776 that although people at the time did not want due to major interruptions in normal life, generations afterward still study to learn how the people of the time overcame such great obstacles. Back in February when I applied for ANRP, I would not have wanted the current situation; however, one day l want to look back and remember the unique opportunities this strange time brought me and how I used them to better myself as a person. Below are three things I have learned that have allowed me to maximize my extremely unique ANRP experience.
- There is always a silver lining – I find it important to view my DC experience as unique, and not worse or limited. The COVID era has brought changes, but not every change is necessarily bad. As a congressional intern one opportunity I have taken full advantage of is having unlimited access to the US Capitol. In particular, while normally the rotunda is a bustling, noisy place with the suspension of tours I often just sit on the benches, with the whole area literally to myself, and read in the quiet or admire the beautiful artwork that graces the entire dome.
- Use the extra free time well – With no visitors to the office much of my job as an intern has been taken away, but with less work comes more free time. With that time, I have toured the National Mall, visited Baltimore, National Park areas, and even read books I had put off. Bottom line, I use every day to its fullest, even if it is not what I thought it would be.
- Take advantage of every opportunity – Even during these strange times, I still choose to take advantage of the opportunities that have not been closed. Last weekend the annual White House garden tour, though modified, was still put on and so I grabbed a few of my roommates and went. What an amazing experience too, walking through the historic Rose Garden, seeing through the windows of the Oval Office, and taking up-close pictures of the White House. It was every history nerd’s dream!
I realize we are all facing many of the same challenges in this strange time, but I have learned to not just look to the future but seize every opportunity offered today.
Office of Congressman Jodey Arrington
Washington, D.C. | fall 2020