By Samantha Bayne
We just arrived back from a very long walk that occurred during a very long day that is just part of what has been a very long week. My back is groaning and my feet are throbbing and my phone is very close to death. During any other occasion, I would be full of nothing but complaining and whining (just ask my parents). Although some complaints about my feet certainly have been made, I cannot help but feel incredibly lucky to be on this trip to Washington, D.C.
When I decided to sign up for this trip, my expectations mostly centered around the academic content of the program. After all, I had been to DC previously, and the site visits were discussed only in the abstract. I didn’t sign up with anyone. I just signed up because I knew, somehow, that I needed to be on this trip.
Now, we have been here for nearly a week. I feel inspired, energized, rejuvenated. We’ve had brilliant academic sessions from the likes of Bill Kristol, Robert Costa, and more (including the surprisingly charming Sean Spicer). We have had the chance to really explore parts of DC that I had never really been before, such as the Eastern Market and Chinatown. We saw the most beautiful parts of the city when we took the long walk from the Newseum to the Kennedy Center.
Most notably, we have met some truly incredible alums who now live and work in DC. From law firms to major media outlets to Capitol Hill, Drake’s alumni network permeates all of the nooks and crannies of the Washington machine. These alums have been so gracious in taking time out of their busy schedules to give us advice, share what they do, and provide us with an inside look at Washington. They have taught us what it means to be in politics. I may not know exactly what I want to do with my life, but meeting these former Drake students has allowed me to broaden my horizons and believe in my potential.
Whether you are a professor, fellow student, alum, or otherwise affiliated with Drake, thank you. Know that you have at least made a difference in one student’s life as I try to figure out what’s next. I am so grateful to be here, and I am ready to learn even more in Week 2.