September 9th 2016. The day I arrived to Washington, DC. I cannot believe it’s already December 31st. I can still recall that day on September when I was struggling with 2 suitcases bigger than myself, to try to get to the first floor of the hostel we were staying at. My heart was full of emotions! Happiness,excitement, OMG, and a bit of sadness…
“Am I really living in DC?”
I kept thinking that for the first 2 weeks.
I was so ready to spend my birthday here; then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas: and now, I’m in NYC for New Years Eve. All that, wasn’t the way I thought it will be… IT WAS BETTER. So, here are some advices I will give to any new Fellow coming to DC;because things can get a bit crazy, when you don’t know what to do.
-> Craiglist just didn’t work for me. People thought I was scamming them, and even, when my American uncle tried to get me a house, it just wasn’t the time. So, fill that Atlas Corps housing survey! That’s what saved my life. Even when I didn’t get the “best” option (closer to my host organization), AC’s housing saved me the first month.
-> I remember reading a bunch of posts about “not spending”; did I actually followed the rules? no. I spent money in stuff like: “Let’s share this $10dlls each!” “Let’s take uber, $4dlls each”, etc. So, my advice for you is: “Dollar by dollar, you end up broke”. I was relying on: “I brought my own money from home! Let’s go out! Oh! What’s 5 dollars?” so.. SAVE MONEY. You’ll appreciate it when you want to buy a new iPhone.
-> My experience here is: Go cheap, go Walmart / Safeway. (Don’t let people convince you that Giant is “the cheapest”).
-> After a month, I moved to a house 6 blocks away from my host organization; so I walk everywhere. DC is great for walking! whether it is for 5 minutes up to 1 hour: so, get fit, and walk if you can. If you can’t BUS is a great cheap option, though, the fastest is the metro.
-> Show your best, be your best, do your best! Personally, I wasn’t the first Fellow at my organization, so, they’ve already had an idea about our “Fellow-Nonprofit” relationship. Still, push yourself as much as you can! Show your supervisor that you’re capable! Get rid of all your fear of failing or not being good; believe in yourself, and let yourself shine as bright as you can get. Believe that, if you’re part of Atlas Corps, it says something about you, and that is: You have a purpose, and a meaning in your life: to carry the world on your shoulders;and that is completely amazing. The Fellowship is what you make of it.