Us conservatives know the magic of being around like-minded students who share our values. I love speedily walking Capitol Hill in a pair of fancy loafers as much as the next girl, but the time comes when we need a break from the DC culture. Then, a break from the break. I am in the last stage; there is a part of me that rejoices in all that is the conservative movement from the weekends spent at activism trainings to the long work days to the seminars on intellectual topics not taught from a progressive standpoint. When you miss your life in Washington, DC, here are four ways you can deal. 

Reach out to your conservative friends and keep those friendships.

I think I can speak for most of us when I say that our friends make the DC culture for us. Sharing similar values, campus experiences, and future goals makes us instantly bond. All your friends may be back in the city, but they are just a phone call away and are worth prioritizing. If you’re lucky, one of your conservative activist friends will be traveling for work near you!

Plan to attend conservative and academic events in your area.

Regardless of where you are, there is bound to be a university nearby that will host conservative-minded lectures and events. Sure it is fun to attend these type of things with your DC crew, but this is also a great way to meet new professors and explore a subject you are truly interested in without distraction.

Educate yourself.

When we’re not in DC, we can feel out of place when we are the only ones in the room who seem to care about Edmund Burke or the American Founding. When we are in DC, we can sometimes feel not smart enough compared to all the great minds at work. The best way to deal with this is to just learn more. Simple as that! Work through that reading list you’ve been compiling from all your conferences and return as knowledgeable and impressive as ever.

Figure out how to get back.

This one follows from the last. The return to DC after being away for so long is super sweet. Reach out to all your contacts (yes, all of them) and ask about new job opportunities or internships tailored to your internships. Give yourself plenty of time to really assess what it is you are passionate about. Start planning your cover letters to express that.

To me, there is no better place or community that builds me up than in DC. Still, we often find ourselves pursuing careers/life in other locations. I have started to really miss the conservative community and fellowship and know that many others feel isolated in this as well. Over the last few months of living on the West Coast when it seems that all my friends are two thousand miles away, I have learned a few key strategies to remain present in the movement. If you are destined to be back in DC, it will happen. See you there!

Kelly H