Washington Semester students in front of the White HouseEmily Long
Journalism & New Media

February 13, 2019 | Hello Everyone, I’m Emily from Lasell College in Boston where I study communication and public relations. I am here in Washington this semester to study journalism, political communication and global communication. I’m really excited to start writing about my experiences and adventures for the Washington Semester Program! Over the next couple of months, you’ll be my copilot on the possible craziest semester of my life!

One key aspect of the Washington Semester Program is how you get to grow and expand your professional network. The key to building your network is to cultivate relationships with other people. Simplified, it means to make friends! What better way to make friends than by taking on a city wide scavenger hunt?

On our first Saturday in Washington, we put on our warmest scarves and boots to take on DC! We started by picking our teams. My team ended up being a combination of kids from different majors, parts of the country and even countries halfway across the globe! Soon after, we got our first set of clues and were ready to go! Armed with our UPasses for the metro (All American University students, including the Washington Semester Program, get unlimited rides on the metro for free!) we set out into the city. We took a couple of wrong turns at first but eventually, we found our way into DC. At one, we had a check in where we got another set of clues. The team, now dubbed the “DC Dawgs” wasn’t quite sure where we stood. However, after getting to know each other and breaking the ice with some seriously funny situations, we all started to fall into a rhythm. Soon, we were racing to solve clues that included getting pictures at a landmarks like the Capitol and the Washington Monument. More out-of-the-box clues included finding red, white and blue sprinkles, finding a picture of Mike Pence and recreating the Iwo Jima Statue.

By the time we headed back to campus, we were tired but excited. When we looked at the list, we realized that we had accomplished more clues than not. Back in the classroom where everyone else was, we devoured some pizza and awaited for the score to be announced. After a minute of excitement and a chocolate eating contest to score some last minute points, the winners were about to be announced. We braced ourselves in anticipation. The teams got announced starting from last place. Slowly, we started to realize how close we were and sure enough, we won first place! Our prize? Tickets to a gala at the Italian Embassy for Valentine’s Day! We were buzzing, genuinely surprised that we had won!

Winning the scavenger hunt was the perfect way to start the semester and meet new people. Washington, DC is full of so many things to do and places to see, so I hope you’ll join me on this adventure!