Revisiting the Country Mouse

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By Kelsey Sollner

As my semester in Washington, DC comes to a close, I’ll get a little reminiscent about what a great time I had. I wrote a post when I first arrived and would like to update you. Initially anxious and mystified by city living, I now think of it as second nature.

I could walk or use public transportation to get anywhere I needed to go, and I could sleep more soundly at night knowing I was doing the environment some good by leaving my car at home in New Jersey. Speaking of sleep, I can now fall asleep to urban noise, and I wonder if I’ll miss it. I will admit: my body took a while to get used to city air—I was sneezing and coughing a lot those first few weeks! But I toughed it out; I wouldn’t let a little sinus trouble keep me from getting outside and soaking in the hustle and bustle of DC.

I was never bored. In the nation’s capital, monotony was one thing I never had to tackle. To make sure I was making the most of my time here, I used an old trick to adapt: I gave myself something to look forward to every day. I kept a calendar of big and small upcoming events (friends visiting, community service opportunities, street festivals, holiday events, neighborhood gatherings) and lived one day at a time, enjoying the present.

My internship sharpened me up, too. I felt that my work and I were fully engaged in the EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. I am proud to be part of such a creative, dedicated team. I’ll carry everything I learned from them with me for the rest of my life.

One of the best semesters I’ve ever had culminated with a meteor shower that, even with a view clouded by city lights, I was able to enjoy from my balcony. It was the perfect finale for an eventful semester studded with valuable life lessons and hard work. Nonetheless, now I can look forward to stargazing under my familiar country sky.
DC, I’ll miss you, but I know I’ll be seeing you soon!

About the author: Kelsey Sollner is a senior from Susquehanna University majoring in journalism. She works as an intern in the EPA’s Office of Web Communications.