They told me that I was going to make life long friends at this week long conference. Did I believe them? No. I was just trying to find someone to hang out with and explore Washington, D.C. with. That is not what happened.
We started off our first color group meeting by finding groups of four and standing in a circle. We were told to put our hands out to our sides, parallel to the ground and hold them there for as long as possible. If anyone in our group dropped their hands, we were out. We randomly grouped up, barely knowing each other’s names. Three other girls and I nodded at each other indicating we would be partners and began. Quickly into this game our arms really began to hurt (to be fair, I have no upper body strength), but we were determined to win. So, guess what we did. We started to have a conversation about how great Robby is for JoJo and how Jordan may have something he is hiding. Our conversation about the Bachelorette consumed our minds as we giggled with each other. Before we knew it, we won! As simple as holding your arms in the air sounds, I think how one handles this task says a lot about personalities. Little did I know, our small circle of girl talk would lead to amazing friendships.
As the week went on, we met another girl, and the five of us became inseparable. We walked the monuments, the museums, and the national mall together. I’m so lucky to have met these wonderful girls.
Overall, the whole last day was difficult. It started off with a goodbye video knowing that, following the video, I would have to say my goodbyes. These are difficult because it goes something like this, “I know I may never see you again. Hopefully we can take a vacation and see each other, or we can try to intern again next year so we have another week together.” Our friendships would not be like most. They lived in Pennsylvania and Louisiana. Everything is a maybe, a wish, a hopefully.
We did have to say goodbye though. So, I gave them long hugs and grabbed all of my things and headed for the airport. The airport was a struggle as I had four delays and missed a layover because of them, but when I finally arrived in Grand Rapids at 1:00 am, my parents were still happily awake to see me.
There is no way to fully describe this trip. It was amazing, life changing, unforgettable. I met some of the coolest, most down to earth, world renowned people. I visited some of the most beautiful and historical places. I made some of the best friends. I’m so incredibly happy and lucky to have had this opportunity. Thank you so much to everyone who donated money, supported me, and encouraged me.