#HonorsProblems: Finding a Place for Yourself

The following blog post was written by Peer Advisor Mary, a CCAS sophomore studying archaeology and biological anthropology.
It can be difficult to try to find your place in the big city. Unlike many of my peers at GW I do not wish to work in politics in the future. In a city where everything seems to revolve around politics, one can sometimes forget the vast number of museums and research institutions located here as well. The Smithsonian Institution is one of the largest museums and research institutions in the world. With several individual museums within it. I decided to volunteer at the Natural History Museum in the most recent spring semester. As an archaeology and biological anthropology major, I see myself destined for a museum or a job in academia. But at the museum I am just a volunteer, I do not get paid nor do I receive credit for an internship. But, instead, I do something for myself.
It has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I help people from all over the world find their way around the museum. Several times I have be able to use the Spanish I learned in high school (which I never thought I would do). I meet interesting people, who have interesting stories to tell. Most of my fellow volunteers are retired middle and high school science teachers and it’s very cool to hear about their relationship with the museum. I had never considered how much of an impact a single place can have on a person until I started volunteering here.
Volunteering at the Natural History Museum reminds me of where I live. While we all live in DC for at least the four years of undergrad, it can be easy to forget that most people only come to DC one time in their entire lives. This is a destination for many US citizens and foreign visitors alike. It is my job to help them make that experience as memorable as possible. As related to me during training, the volunteers of the Smithsonian are the people that visitors have the most interaction with. We are the face of the Smithsonian that most of the 7 million people remember. And as one of the most visited museums in the world, it is important that we are professional and welcoming.
I would encourage everyone to find their place in DC and at GW. My place where I can escape all the stress related to school is at the information desk next to Henry the elephant at the Natural History Museum.

1 thought on “#HonorsProblems: Finding a Place for Yourself

  1. Michelle


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