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Seattle, like college, or I guess like life in general, has been a huge balancing act, and the tightrope has gotten just a little bit thinner these past few weeks as I’ve gotten the hang of work, formed relationships I want to further, and have gotten a sense of the places I still want to visit. I wanna pack a lot into these weeks we have left, but I also wanna make sure I get the most of what I choose to do. So far, staying up late to talk, spending generously on attractions, and being spontaneous with plans have worked out pretty well, but I realize there’s also times where I have to focus on learning the professionalism and responsibility that comes with taking care of myself and making sure I’m putting my best foot forward for my work and for the group I’m sharing this experience with.
We’ve been doing so much between work, weekday group sessions, weekend group activities, and hanging out with people on our own, and I’ve realized that it’s tempting to close myself off from certain things with excuses like tiredness or business. Sometimes these excuses are perfectly valid, but for the most part I push on because it’s worth it. More times than not, it’s worth it to attempt to raise my tiredness threshold like I do during the school year, just for the adventure.
We’ve been doing so much that it’s been really hard to classify my experience in Seattle so far as any one thing. It’s been an internship, a summer enrichment program, a real-life classroom, and a social vacation all at once. That’s the beauty of DukeEngage though – its multidimensionality, and it’s something I have to embrace, even if it means stretching my mind thin and extending my heart a little too far (and losing some sleep in the process). I’ve got to keep my mind open to what anything we do has to offer, and keep my eyes and ears open for any opportunity to learn or understand things I haven’t considered before.
In my work, that means continuing to ask questions about anything and everything. In the group, that means continuing to intentionally seek out conversations with people to learn about both their lives and their work. In the city, it means actively planning to go places with the mindset that there’s a lot to gain from going and participating fully. I think you can really frame the experience you get out of a place around the questions you ask, and that’s what I’m trying to do to the best of my abilities as I continue my one short summer in the Emerald City.