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Intern tips on life in D.C.

Jenna Johnson

Nikki Roberti was a multimedia intern for the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire in the District this spring. Nikki is a rising-senior journalism major at Appalachian State University. (She was also one of the first interns featured on Campus Overload.) Here's her advice for the next wave of D.C. interns:

nikki_roberti.jpgBring your own cloth bags. They charge you 5-cents for each plastic one here.

Go out and see the town! I had the best time with other interns just walking around Dupont Circle late at night one evening. We discovered the coolest bookstores and coffeehouses I've ever seen.

DO NOT get a fake ID. Bad idea. Suck it up if you're not 21. Yeah, it's not fair. But why jeopardize your amazing internship for one night of fun?

Get some sleep! I did not sleep much one week and it ruined my mojo. Coffee is definitely not a substitute for sleep and it made me jittery on top of being sleepy, so doing work was never that great of a thing.

Eat cheap and eat at home. I made an amazing vegetarian chili that served about 10 people for maybe five bucks. Don't eat out every day because you'll be poor, fat and groggy.

Do the free stuff! You live in a city filled with culture. You don't have to spend big bucks to go out and have a good time. See the zoo. Visit the museum. Enjoy live music!

Be safe and wise. Girls, don't listen to your iPods when walking alone late at night. It's easier for people to blindside you. It may sound ridiculous but having pepper spray is a great precaution when you're alone in the dark. Just because you're independent girls, doesn't mean you're allowed to be stupid. Be safe.

Learn how to run up and down an escalator. You'll need it, trust me. Plus it's great exercise.

Are you a D.C. internship veteran? Do you have words of wisdom to share with the next generation of interns? E-mail me, and you might be featured as our next former intern.


Follow Campus Overload all day, every day at http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. Check out our new Higher Education page, follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  May 20, 2010; 2:32 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Interns  | Tags: Internships  
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Comments

DO NOT run up and down the escalators! It's dangerous and rude. Do you really want to bump someone and cause them an injury, or fall down, and at the very least, embarrass yourself? Stand on the right, WALK on the left, do not come to a stop at the top/bottom of the escalator. That is how you use them correctly.

How about changing that tip to: "Learn to be on time without needing to rush around"? Wherever you're going, you'll get there, and it's NOT an "emergency" of any sort. Nothing you are doing is that important. Running just shows how immature you really are.

Posted by: red_hawk1968 | May 21, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Ouch red_hawk, got a bit of a chip on your shoulder there, don't you. Maybe you could give the young interns instructions on becoming a crotchety, angry 42 year old.

Posted by: gwarzilla | May 21, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

If you will be running up and down escalators, wear something other than flip-flops for your commute. Flip-flips don't hold up well to running, and you'd be surprised how many people land in the ER for foot/toe injuries because of this choice of footwear.

Posted by: dcinvests | May 21, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I have fallen down on the Dupont Circle escalator and it is very scary. You think that you will be able to get up, but you can't. Someone had to lift me off of the bottom of the moving steps. My legs and arms were cut up and blood was streaming down my legs. Not the best way to show up for your internship in the morning. So be careful out there. This was horrible advice. You can get plenty of exercise walking around DC. Other points were okay.

Posted by: lpayne5845 | May 21, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE don't run up/down the escalators, and please, please don't go into a dead sprint towards the train in the morning from 50 meters away. Another train WILL come in another 2 - 3 minutes so you can calm down. The metro is crowded and you will end up hurting someone one of these days.

Posted by: gumby1 | May 21, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Isn't pepper spray restricted in D.C.?

Posted by: textdoc | May 21, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

This should be added to the "Be Safe and Be Wise" point. Boys, don't blindside women when they're listening to their iPods while walking late at night. It's easier for you to be accused of rape or sexual assault. It may sound ridiculous, but keeping your salami in check is a great precaution when you see a woman in the dark (or at a party, or drunk at the bar, or on the dance floor, or anywhere really). Just because you see a lady, doesn't mean you're allowed to tap that without her permission or if she's fall-down, blackout drunk or high. Be safe.

And another thing, boys. If you do go out drinking, don't get too drunk and then try and walk home. Fratboy-looking drunk guys of any race are much more likely to get mugged than any other group.

Oh, and finally, boys: I know that many of you will feel the urge to take your shirts off while you're on your daily run. Pasty boys, flabby boys, don't do it. Boys who are trim and who have a little tan at least, please give in to the urge.

Posted by: dkp01 | May 21, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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