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It’s my third day in Washington, DC; however, this entry is about yesterday. Last night, I went to this ramen restaurant with my site coordinator and another Duke student from the DukeEngage in DC cohort. It’s out of character for me to willingly submit myself to interact with others.

But I had an AMAZING (feel free to insert other positive adjectives here) time. Having the opportunity to have conversations with others in a small setting is less FRIGHTENING and super casual. We discussed music – I think the consensus was that the 90’s was the last great decade for music. We also discussed our fears and concerns about the upcoming weeks working at our internship sites, Duke and its academic atmosphere, our likes, and dislikes. I learned so much about everyone.

It was incredible. Having the opportunity to engage in open and authentic discourse within a group of your peers, who are so willing to share of themselves, was FANTASTIC. It’s tiring sometimes to be in spaces where you feel like you can’t be yourself, as cliché as that might sound. Nevertheless, all good things must come to an end. And as the evening drew to a close, I grew sad. Why? Because I was so happy just sitting there and talking. Although I’m soft-spoken, I have a lot to say and last night I was heard. I didn’t need to shout.

All this just to say, I had fun last night. Sometimes life can steal your smile, but the right company can bring it back. My only regret is that we didn’t take a picture. But maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. The lack of pictures may serve as enough reason to do this all over again another night. My site coordinators did say, I would have more nights like this. Last night, I didn’t want the morning to come. Morning brings a new day and a promise of a new beginning, but this morning began with the passing of a great night with even greater company. Cheers to last night. And Cheers to a DukeEngage that is filled with happiness, authenticity, friendship, family, and most importantly GROWTH.