I am beyond excited to spend my spring semester in the busy city of DC. I am completely in love with this city, and I haven’t even been here since the 5th grade. When I went, I had the honor of placing a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. And getting accepted to this program is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and another huge honor that I refuse to let slip through my fingers. I have been pinning tons of business outfits to copy on Pinterest, preparing a budget to live by since I will probably be the most broke intern ever and trying to convince my parents that I will be ok.

*Me at the tomb in 5th Grade

Celeste Malone Arlington Cemetery

Pinterest and Google have been my best friends over the past few weeks to figure out what life is like in a big city. Since I am coming from a small town in the most amazing of all the 50 states, which is Tennessee, I have to learn how to adjust to the different ways of life than the country-girl life I am accustomed to. I have been mapping routes to take, coffee shops and multicultural restaurants to visit, and trying to figure out what business style best describes my personality. I know the city will move fast, so I have to know where I am going because I have one of the world’s worst senses of direction. I also know that I have an addiction to food and a good cup of coffee, so I have been looking around for the best places to try. So far, I plan on visiting Good Stuff Eatery, Italian Store and a coffee shop called Sidamo Coffee and Tea. I also plan on visiting all the monuments, but being in DC, that is a given.

When I went through my clothes to find professional wear, I did not realize how many un-professional things I actually had. I  junk up two rooms in my house with skirts, jeans, hoodies and Converses. So, over the past few months, I have been trying to compile my professional closet. Now, I do have some things that can be used for recreation and work, but since it will be cold, I’ve had to stock up on two things I absolutely hate: awkward dress pants and annoying panty hose. I can never find dress pants that fit right, and I just hate the way panty hose feel. They make me feel like a church lady minus her waving fan and oversized hat. But, I refuse to freeze while I am there so I had to buy some and the plus side is that I have found nice tops, blazers, sweaters and Olivia Pope coats (I adore Scandal).

Celeste Malone Olivia Pope

Now, I go into the next big thing I will combat in DC: A budget. I admit I have a slight spending problem. I love spending money. Buying unnecessary stuff is what I am good at. I could honestly say that I have the potential of becoming a hoarder, so I’ve had to start regulating myself on what I can and can’t spend. I have created a budget for myself while in DC. I will use a $20 a week budget broken up in intervals of $5 per day. I also have budgeted about $50 every few weeks for groceries with my foolproof grocery list. If I decide I want something different, I’ll substitute one thing for another. It sounds easier said than done, but I know I can do it with a little determination and the motivation of being broke.

My younger sister lucked out and got the athletic gene, but I was never the sporty type. School is what I am best at, and my parents are my biggest fans. I would not have been able to actually follow through with going to the big city. When I had my doubts, they cheered me up and let me know I really could do this although they were nervous about it. I can tell because they have both been mentioning “Things I can’t do in DC,” like wear short skirts to work and spend all my money on random clothing I don’t need. I know I will be ok, and I am beyond determined to show them that they have raised a daughter who is perfectly capable of dealing with the big city in a pair of heels, an Olivia Pope coat and a perfectly doctored cup of coffee.

Washington DC, I’m coming for you.