With my scarf pulled up over my nose and my hat pushed down to my eyebrows, I make my way from class to class in the bitter New Hampshire cold. Clouds of warm breath radiate from students as we pass each other with silent nods and sleepy eyes. But every so often I push my scarf aside to smile at past professors, holler at classmates, or hug old friends. It’s great being back!
I’m one of those people who can’t do something for too long without getting bored of it. I needed a break from the routine of classes and dorm life and part-time jobs. That’s why, fall semester 2012, I spent the three and a half months in Washington D.C. I went through a program called the Washington Center, an organization that set me up with housing, one academic class, and an internship. I did my internship at a small, but rapidly growing, nonprofit called the Trust for the National Mall as their marketing and event intern. The Trust is dedicated to the restoration, maintenance, and educational value of the National Mall in D.C. I worked directly with the Director of Events, a valuable opportunity that gave me hands on experience with real-world budgets, timelines, and a closer look into the event planning field. I loved living in the city, commuting to work on the Metro, exploring D.C. on the weekends, and experiencing a cultural scene much more diverse than what I am used to in New Hampshire. I made some incredible friends, met some inspiring people, and learned more about a profession I might someday pursue. It was the perfect and much needed adventure I was after.
But I’m back on campus with a renewed spirit. I’m ready to be a student again! Ready to hit the dining hall instead of cooking my own meals. And ready to not have to wear panty hose, heels, and a blouse every day. In the city I often felt like a tourist, a stranger, another face in the crowd. Back at UNH, in the best community I know, I am home again.
Written by Denise Barstow, UNH Class of 2014