In the last three months, I got back from a trip to Ecuador, started working for the National Guard and for Capital One, moved to Philadelphia with two of my siblings, and just this past weekend revisited my alma mater for an alumni weekend. I think it was important to give the work and move a decent amount of time to get used to things and to let them ramp up. I’ll talk about each generally.
My understanding of what the National Guard did was very limited. Even among the ROTC students at my school, they described the experience briefly and negatively. Now, I’m an optimist, so I expected that it would be different and it’s still pretty early to tell. These first three drills were field weekends, each out in terrible weather, but also each giving me more insight into the Army outside of the training and doctrine command. My favorite memory so far was when a tornado warning came on during our mortar firing and we had to move to the barracks before the weather got to us. We were on a hill and could see the clouds approaching menacingly with the deep drop in temperature and the strengthening of the winds. We got to a truck that would take us to the barracks but not before a torrential downpour that left us soaked for the rest of the night. Incredibly, by the end of the half hour uncomfortable, bumpy ride with eight soaked soldiers in the back of a medical vehicle, the rain had already stopped and the skies were clear. Fun.
I also began my time as a software engineer at Capital One, working for a data infrastructure team. I’m in a rotational program called Technology Development Program, with one year in this team and a half year in another before getting to choose between them or going somewhere else. My team is very kind and understanding about my youth and inexperience in the field, and yet still very positive about my performance so far. Just today we figured out future work for me to accomplish that would go along with the goals in my head (more software development, less configuration files). Also, the Philadelphia office is not even open yet, so I still have my first experiences of working in an office coming next month!
When we moved to Philadelphia, I did a lot of research about neighborhoods and landed on Queen Village and Northern Liberties as my two favorites. Looking for housing is tough in February, so while I think Queen Village is a cooler neighborhood, we settled into Northern Liberties and have loved the quick walks to the cafe, grocery store, gym, bars, and restaurants. Just today, we finally got a dining room table and a poker set, so we are getting ready to be able to host soon! I’ve loved Philadelphia for so long and can’t believe I finally get to call it home. The one problem I have is that I moved to a city where I didn’t know many people. It’s been a slow process, but my siblings and I have probably made enough friends by now to make poker nights a possibility. We’ll see!
Last bit of the day is that this past weekend I spent in Baltimore with my friends who graduated with me in May, 2022. Something annoying that I do is that I won’t bring my phone with me when I don’t need it and want to just enjoy the company around me. I carry an ID card and a credit card and nothing else at all. Jokingly, my friends have offered to put a tracking tag on me so that they could know where I was even when I couldn’t respond. Despite my lack of phone, I was able to let the wind blow me around the campus, always meeting old friends and always finding my way back to the couch I could crash on.
Won’t add any pictures this time, sorry!
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