Skip to main content

DC is an amazing city, with something new to try almost every day. The past two weeks have been filled with firsts for me–my first internship, my first metro ride alone, my first 9:00-5:00 job, my first time trying to cook, and more. My short time here has already created memories that I don’t want to forget, feelings I don’t want to lose, and perspectives I want to keep seeing.


But what if I don’t get to try all of the firsts this DukeEngage experience has to offer? What if, at the end of the summer, I’ve come and gone from an 8 week journey feeling like it was just a field trip? I want to experience DC, not just stay in it for a summer. I want this program to be transformative, one that I can look back on and say it changed my life (or at least shaped my Duke career). It might be too much to ask for, or maybe I’m trying too hard to force it, but I desperately want it. I crave direction and clarity. I hunger for time that I didn’t waste–it’s ironic typing that at the end of a Saturday voluntarily spent sitting at my computer in my room.


And the worst part of it is that I know the problem in this dilemma. My time here isn’t going to shape my life or even my week if I just go through the motions. I need to digest every moment of it. I need to go out and seek the answers that I want life to hand me on a silver platter. I need to try to get something out of this experience. Otherwise, I’m just another kid that Duke could afford to drop a couple thousand dollars on. Honestly, I don’t even know how to begin to discover what this summer can mean to me. But I guess that’s part of the journey, and I won’t find out if I did it right until the end.


Here’s to hoping my fears don’t get in the way of all the firsts to come.