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Back to Reality (and Texas)

As my old friend would constantly quote from Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!” And oh, how true that is…

Dr. Daly's Advocacy in Applied Settings course

Dr. Daly wasn’t kidding when he told us we would probably have a hard time coming back. I know a semester doesn’t seem like an unusually long period of time, but in those four months I became exceptionally close to the other Archer Fellows (particularly the 11 I lived in the same townhouse with), grew accustomed to working more than 40 hours a week, attending class until 9 p.m. every other evening, and taking full advantage of most networking opportunities that would come my way.

Me, walking on an chilly autumn day in Dupont Circle

For weeks I went without having a car, relying entirely on walking and public transportation. I practically lived and breathed politics/current events, first from living on Capitol Hill, and second from working in the various ABC newsrooms. Invigorating is the only way I can possibly describe it.

The Archer Fellowship gave me my first authentic taste of independence and adulthood. Sure, I was somewhat “independent” in Austin, but really–that experience does not even compare. My dad was just a phone call away, and there was usually someone in short distance who could help me with whatever I needed. For the first time, I worked a full-time job and was entirely in charge of looking after myself. No old friends, no relatives, no comfort zone close by.

Archer Graduation

As for the other Archer Fellows, what an amazing group of people…and I’m not just saying that because this is a public blog. Everyone in the fellowship added a different dynamic to the experience, and Anneliese hit the nail with the hammer when she said it wouldn’t have been the same if any one of us had been switched out with someone else. I could not have possibly been more impressed with these wonderful people.

But alas, all good things eventually come to an end. The new class of Archer Fellows has taken our place, and they are currently creating memories, like we did, that will last a lifetime. I don’t care if that sounds corny. It’s the truth!

A bunch of us on my 20th birthday, December 17

I’ll never forget the day I left the Archer house. I woke up at 4 a.m., quietly grabbed my bags and waited outside my door for the Super Shuttle to pick me up. At 7 a.m., my flight took off. My heart sank as I watched the Washington Monument and the Pentagon distance farther and farther away from the window by my seat.

Trail of Lights 2008! To think, I almost missed it this year.

A few hours later, I landed in Houston, only to discover my flight to Corpus Christi had been canceled and I wouldn’t be able to come home until the following day. I opted to go to Austin instead–a good move. I went to Trail of Lights (see my videos) later that evening, and reacquainted myself with the lovely UT campus I had gone nearly seven months without.

All in all, I’m happy to be back. Now let’s see where the semester takes me…

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January 19, 2009 | | Comments are closed for this post

4 Comments to Back to Reality (and Texas)

Wow, Eva: I love the memories your blog brings to mind. I greatly miss D.C. for many reasons: The nostalgia of the town, the friends who shared in making memories, and the irreplaceable feeling of being in the middle of EVERYTHING. I have come back to Texas with an abundance of confidence and owe it to the wonderful experience the Archer Fellowship provides!

January 20, 2009
— Corey

Aww, Eva…I really really enjoyed reading this. Such a good, and bittersweet reminder of all we experienced in D.C. I love that quote you mention at the beginning, because right now I really struggle with sadness being away from that glorious Archer life. Reminds me now, I need to journal all my experience or I might forget it! Love and miss you so much!

January 20, 2009
— Katryn

Thanks for commenting… love you guys!!

January 21, 2009
— Eva

I feel your pain (and joy!). It’s nice to be home, but home doesn’t quite feel the same anymore. I was watching the inauguration on TV, scanning the shots of the crowd for potential Spring 09 Archer Fellows. I kept thinking about what kinds of things we would all be doing if we were still in D.C. I miss you, roomie!


January 22, 2009
— Megan
photo of Eva