#WYSE2017 Days 5-6: Washington Mall, Gala, and Saying Goodbye.

Hi everyone….writing this post is very bittersweet. I want to just spill every single emotion I’ve experienced in these last 24 or so hours, but I’ll wait until the end again. Let’s start with the last full day, Thursday, at the various museums surrounding the Washington Mall.

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The Washington Mall was okay…but I didn’t get to go to the museum I was hoping to because literally no one wanted to go there and it was 20 minutes out of the way. *Sad face* Instead, I stuck with Tina and Megan and went three places: first was Tina’s congressional meeting, then the National Air and Space Museum, then the National Art Museum. I personally wasn’t interested much in either of these places, but it was still nice to look around. The highlight of it all was seeing these dolls:

Look!! At!! Them!! #RepresentationFTW! It made Tina and I SO happy to see black women as astronauts. Like WHAT? I actually screamed in the middle of the museum because I was so surprised and thrilled to see the representation clear as day. If they weren’t $25 each I might’ve just bought one.

There are so many more pictures I wish I could include in this post, such as the complete 2017 WYSE group standing on the steps of the Washington Monument, professional headshots, etc. They’ll be out soon!


When I say we shook the floor, we literally did. The Gala was held on the second floor of the Westfields Marriott Hotel in Dulles, VI. It was one of the best dances I’ve ever been to, and definitely unforgettable.

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The gala was an indescribable amount of fun. Kate, Morgan, me, Tina, Christian, and everyone else got SO hype. It was amazing to spend 4 hours dancing, screaming, laughing, and a tiny bit of crying with these people. There are a myriad of videos on my Snapchat that I unfortunately cannot include in this post, but just trust me when I say it was an amazing night. I loved seeing Tina dance and Christian crowd surf, and Luz completely let her guard down. It was just…one of those times where you truly don’t care what others think and you’re purely enjoying yourself. Kate screamed until she was hoarse, and it was said that she was the talk of the dorms after the dance. But, taking from what I learned from Jesi, Kate and I both were loud and completely unapologetic. We enjoyed ourselves, and that’s truly all that matters.

And now a few days later, I come back to this post with the same heavy feeling I did when the moment was present…saying goodbye to my fellow yellow team. I, along with few others, was on the last shuttle out of Mason, and so I had to watch all 22 of them depart one by one. Tears were shed, thanks yous were ushered, and inevitably, I watched them climb into cars and head towards shuttles to destinations I may never go.

There was something special about the yellow group. I know, every color group will say the same, but I truly believe that my experience would not have been as impacting as it was if I wasn’t in group yellow. Jesi, with her super yet small human pep talks, Jesse with his shy, productive, caring personality. Kate with her amazing lungs to scream our chant (among many other astounding traits) Tina, with her outgoing and fearless jokes and
innuendos. Morgan, because she is caring and passionate. Christian because he is immensely intelligent and off to a good start in life. Bob, because we might’ve jokingly blamed him for a lot, but he still participated and let us know we were important. Yaja (I don’t know her proper spelling; apologies,) because she is audacious, coming all the way from France, and because she is insightful and inspiring. Luz, because she was quiet but fierce. Ashley, because she has an amazing perspective on things that I didn’t have until I met her. Alisha, because she has that laugh that can make everyone laugh. Sydney, because she has a way of making you feel cared for. SO ON AND SO FORTH! I’m so sorry if I didn’t get you, but I promise if asked, I can tell you what your presence did to help make yellow group so special to me. Thank you.

Thank you all, so very much for giving me this incredible experience. The abnormally long days and short nights were worth it. The feet cramps were worth it. The tears I shed because I was such a long way away from home was worth it. Everything and everyone helped me realize that there is a true potential to call Mason a second home I didn’t want to leave…


-Cierra ❤

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