Photo: Neil Conway
1. You went on dates at the Smithsonians because they were free.
Most college students have endless stories about late nights and cheap beers. Those who dated while in college likely saved up for special occasions here and there. But students in DC had a bit of help via 19 of the most extravagant museums in the country, all of which are free. Sure, it got a bit old after your eighth date at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum — but that’s okay. You told every date that it was your first time there.
2. You have or know someone that’s interned on the Hill.
And it sounded great for about 30 seconds before you realized that DC gets hot in the summer, and you had to wear an uncomfortable business outfit. But at least you got to do important, life-changing work, right? Sorting files and making phone calls makes a difference, doesn’t it? Never mind that the internship was unpaid. Why do people intern on the Hill again?
3. You’ve spent a night out at McFadden’s, whether you wanted to or not.
You don’t like the place. You really don’t like the place. But somehow, you’ve ended up spending the night there more than once thanks to your friends — and you’ve likely made valiant efforts to black out while there so you could forget where you were. The music, crowd, and just about everything else may have bothered you, but it was all worth it. Why, you ask? The people watching was top notch.
4. You’ve been to Ben’s Chili Bowl at 3am at least once — with and without out-of-town visitors.
After you finish rolling your eyes and “Only tourists go there!” stops echoing in your head, think back to your freshman year in DC when you thought Ben’s Chili Bowl was the best “new” thing around. You couldn’t beat a chili half-smoke and fries. And every time someone visited from out of town, you made sure they knew that too. Whether you’d like to admit it or not, the urge to eat a late meal at Ben’s still probably hits you once every blue moon.
5. You’ve said “Walk left, stand right” to several strangers.
Yes, this does apply in just about every large US city, and DC is no exception. Considering over 40,000,000 people visit Union Station annually, it’s safe to say that there is a large number of people unfamiliar with the city walking around town. And many of them happen to enjoy lollygagging on the escalators, making for a (very) long 159 seconds if you don’t speak up when you need to go up the escalators at Rosslyn.
6. You’ve had your plans change immediately after forgetting what time stores stop selling alcohol.
Bars stop serving alcohol at a normal time in DC On the other hand, if you ever planned on having drinks before heading out, you always made sure to take care of it early in the evening. But that one time, you forgot that stores stop selling alcohol at 10 PM, leading you to hit the bar much earlier than you expected. Yes, stores stop selling alcohol at 10pm. And yes, you only made this mistake once.
7. You’ve introduced many visitors to Ethiopian food.
Before moving to DC, you may not have even known exactly what Ethiopian food was, let alone tried it. But soon after your first semester, you became a self-proclaimed expert on the matter. Dukem, Zed’s, Etete, you name it. You knew which place had the best of each dish. And any time someone came to town, you made sure to take them to grab Ethiopian food, as it gave you an excuse to eat Ethiopian again. Not a bad deal.
8. You roll your eyes when asked if you’ve been to Georgetown Cupcake.
Well, you do now anyway. That’s not to say you hadn’t been to Georgetown Cupcake several times before it was reviewed over 2,000 times on Yelp. And, yes, you did enjoy it when you went, despite the giant lines. How about now? We know. “It’s all about Baked & Wired, man”.
9. You lived in an English basement at one point.
For those unfamiliar, an English basement is the lowest floor of a building, typically of a townhouse or brownstone, with a separate entrance from the rest of the building. The “basement” is partially above ground level and partially below it. Why would you live alone and in an English basement? Because cheap.
10. You put Mumbo sauce on everything.
Mumbo. Mambo. Same same. Whether you went to college or not, if you’ve lived in DC or anywhere nearby, you know about it. It belongs on everything. Especially at 3 in the morning after you’ve had too much to drink. Fries, wings, pizza, whatever — you definitely have a preferred food to pour Mumbo sauce all over. Sure, it may have come from Chicago originally, but DC owns it now.