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Armando J. Santiago - Entry 1

Please describe your first week in Washington, D.C.

Work.

As students, we tend to throw this word around carelessly. I have certainly caught myself underestimating the true load of the word in a professional setting. The hours, I thought, were definitely a lot more manageable than our college class and homework schedule. "How bad can an 8-hour day really be?"

If there was ever a time when the expression "Ignorance is bliss" could be used, this would be it. Even as interns, the amount of work we do is but an infinitesimal portion of the work done by a single staff member in a congressional office. However, an 8-hour day is enough to drain my energy to the extent that I depend on those cozy naps on the Metro ride home to be able to cook dinner, take a shower, and sleep a few hours; only to rinse and repeat the next day.

As a student, I had enough time and energy left over after class to go to the gym, take on extra-curriculars, and hold a part-time job. Needless to say, those days seem like distant memories of a sedentary life.

However, the kind of experiences, knowledge, exposure and opportunities that have been offered to me through this internship program are priceless, and they are certainly well worth the struggle and difficulty in the challenges that they bring.

I like to think of myself as someone who thrives under pressure, so I look forward to the lessons to be learned from these new challenges. If I had to narrow down this first week to a single word, that word would be "Humility."

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