It all started in fifth grade. Assuming we all wanted to prepare for the future, teachers began preaching to kids the importance of making goals. After all, it’s never too early for those future lawyers to start prepping for the LSAT, right? So, at the end of our fifth grade year, each student wrote out their future career to be placed next to their cheesy school pictures in the yearbook. Most girls were hoping to be the next JLO, Kate Moss, or Britney Spears. Not me; I wanted to be President of the United States.
This desire to be President was no coincidence. It was due to being exposed to the world of politics at a young age. Obviously, I wasn’t aware of exactly what it entailed to be president, or even what it meant to be a Democrat. All I knew was that my parents were Democrats and so I must be one too. Over the years though, my understanding of politics deepened and I began to develop my own ideas and views of the world that, at times, even differed from those of my parents.
Until this summer I was content with being involved in politics from afar; picking up bits and piece of information from various sources. Before this summer I didn’t realize that I thirsted for more of an intimate relationship with government. This thirst was quenched when I was granted the opportunity to take part in the Senate Page Program; three-weeks, forty-two teenagers, and the most deliberative body of government in the world.
Although we were just completing simple tasks like delivering water or running errands, those three weeks were anything but monotonous. Yes I was bringing water, but water to Senator Conrad from North Dakota, the leading senator in the health care debate. I was not just running an errand. Rather, I was running an errand for Senator Durbin from Illinois, the majority whip. Never again can I read an article about Senator Schumer and not remember his flailing hands and booming voice.
I was completely immersed in the political scene. And for every one of those twenty-one days I was totally and completely in my element. Washington D.C. is a place that I now crave to visit again.
I felt at home.
Adjusting back to the real world was difficult for me. Now I see men in suits and frantically try to remember what state they represent. No one, with the exception of my other forty-two page companions really understand what it’s like to be so involved in our government.
So president, maybe not, but Washington D.C. beckons even more.
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