So, you finally did it. You found that job, packed your belongings, said goodbye to your family and friends, and moved.
And now you’re here in Washington D.C, and it’s exciting and overwhelming all at the same time! How do you make sense of it all?
Well, here are five things that all newbies to Washington, D.C., should know.
- Let’s start with the basics. You’re going to be surrounded by people constantly, especially when you’re using a lot of public transportation to get around. There’s an unspoken rule on escalators. Walk on the left, stand on the right. Do not commit the cardinal sin of standing on the left. You will get yelled it, sighed at, walked around. It’s just no fun. And because people here are in a general hurry to get to their next destination, if you do choose to walk, do so at a brisk pace.
- Speaking of public transit, there are several options in D.C., but know there is nothing that beats Uber Pool. A little weird, but the Metro breaks constantly, the buses aren’t the nicest places to hang out on, and though there are quite a few people who bike, as a newbie, you really don’t want to take that risk. So, you’ve probably heard of Uber, but Uber Pool is the next level up. You pay around the same price as a ticket to get on the Metro (not counting surges, of course), and you get picked up at your location, share a ride with others going your way, and get dropped off at your desired destination. It’s kind of like the Metro, but a thousand times more convenient.
- Don’t be alarmed if you keep hearing the term DMV being thrown around. No, we are not talking about the dreaded Department of Motor Vehicles. DMV refers to the tri-state area of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Since D.C. is bordered by both Maryland and Virginia, the suburbs of the city fall in those two states. Northern Virginia and southern Maryland often refer to themselves as being part of the D.C. area; many work in the city, and there’s a lot of traffic between the three. It’s just convenient to call the whole region “the DMV.”
- You’re not going to make friends as easily as you imagined. People are busy, have at least two jobs and a side hustle to worry about, and are constantly on the move. To put it frankly, people aren’t going to be friends with you “just because.” That being said though, this gives you an opportunity to look at friendship in a new way. You’re going to find that instead of a group, you’ll have people you do certain activities with. And the best way to meet people is to network. D.C. loves to network, so go to all the meetups, events, and gatherings that you can. And don’t forget to start with the people you work with. They can be some of the best friend resources out there. Plus, you already have something to talk about.
- And on the subject of networking, D.C. loves to network at happy hours. Happy hour in this city is your golden hour. You can get food and drinks at some of the nicest and trendiest places in D.C for half the normal cost, mingle with all sorts of different people, and generally feel the heartbeat of the city. Try to hit up some planned happy hours — those have more of a set agenda aligned with your interests and often may dole out some free snacks.
What have you learned about living in Washington D.C.? Let us know the tips and tricks you’ve picked up in the comments below!