Politics and perspectives
I went to D.C. this summer to participate in a political action and public policy program with National Student Leadership Conference. The program, which was 12 days long, was held at American University, and if I said that I wasn’t nervous on the first day, I would be lying. Normally, leaving my family and friends wouldn’t bother me too much, but this time, it did. I pulled up to American with my mom and my little sister, and as we were checking in, I looked around at all the students. I went to my room, met my roommate, and we hit it off immediately. I walked my mom and sister down to their car and hugged them goodbye. When walking back to my room, I met a few other girls who I would become close friends with, and I knew I would be fine.
Throughout the program, I learned a lot about politics and public policy, and heard from incredible speakers such as Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security, co-chair of the Republican National Committee Sharon Day, and Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. I was at the Supreme Court the day it struck down the Texas abortion restrictions. One night, we went to Capital Steps, a satirical performance about political events and politicians.
Everyone there had such a passion for politics, and though we had varying political views, we had intellectual discussions about issues, and afterwards, no one was upset or mad about someone else’s views. I was one of three students from Texas, and the other 50 or so were from across the nation. All these people gave me different perspectives on things, and it was interesting to hear about other students’ hometowns and high schools, and compare our experiences with each other.
Though my experience in this program showed me that a career in politics is probably not the right career path for me, I had once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and met incredible people. Going to this program in D.C. was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
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