As the movers packed up the apartment last Tuesday, I reflected on what originally pulled me to DC in 2008.

I experienced a pre-quarter life crisis during the second to last semester of undergrad. I had just changed my course of study from a history major with education licensure to just history. Teaching was not for me, but I did not come to this conclusion before taking all of my upper level Ed courses. I loved my history classes because it is just a compilation of the {juiciest stories ever} but career-wise, I knew I was not qualified to do any history-specific work without an advanced degree.

Cut to having discussions with my academic advisors. One advised me to look into architectural history grad programs and the other advised me to look at his alma mater, the University of Maryland.

As I was browsing the UMd online grad course catalog, beneath the entry for Ph.D. of History (which seemed like too much of a commitment for me) and Master’s of History (which did not appeal to me), was Master’s of Historic Preservation. This course of study seemed like a more practical application of architectural history.

The Friday night before I left for spring break, I received my acceptance letter to the program.

That summer, I packed everything that would fit into my Ford Escape (literally, I had to drop the family dog off at the kennel and she had to ride in my lap as there was no room in the vehicle) and moved myself to DC while my parents were on vacation. A seventeen hour solo drive over two days gave me tons of time to reflect on life up until then. I had not felt so confident in a decision as I had about moving to the DMV and going to UMd.

It is hard to reconcile that the move was twelve years ago. I feel like the same girl who said yes to a different path and with that took every opportunity that came her way (explaining how I agreed to move abroad to a second world country), but so much has changed: a husband, a baby, and thankfully, movers to pack for me this time.

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