Whether you’re being relocated for your job, or are moving to The District after graduation in hopes of finding a job, there’s some things you should know about DC before you dive in headfirst.
Luckily for you, we’ve created your go-to guide for all the do’s and don’ts of your newest home sweet home. So buy that “I heart DC” shirt for $55 from the trunk of that sketchy guy’s car in the alleyway because you are officially a Washingtonian- as long as you follow these simple rules…
Honk to Move Traffic
It’s a known DC fact that if you continuously honk at the cars in front of you, the street will part ways like the Red Sea and traffic will cease to exist. The key here is to honk when the cars are bumper to bumper on the Key Bridge. Even if the honking doesn’t make the traffic lighten up, it sure will annoy other drivers enough to run right off the road, therefore giving you the right-of-way.
Don’t Spring for Heat or Air Conditioning
Now this is something I like to call the DC diet. Partakers in this diet have been known to drop obscene amounts of weight just by not paying for heat or air conditioning. The trick is that it gets so hot and humid in DC during the summertime that without AC you sweat out your body weight, and thus lose major lbs. In the winter, it is so bitter cold that living without heat forces you to jump up and down and run in place just to stay warm. This increase of exercise in the winter months will make you beach body ready by the time spring rolls around.
Ride the “Senators Only” Elevator at the Capitol
Don’t let some little sign deter you from riding with you favorite elected officials, hop on board! After all, you are the ones that elected them into office. Just be sure you can run like Forrest Gump when security starts chasing after you. On the bright side you’ll definitely get your fitbit steps in for the day.
Hit up J Street
DC streets are named after letters, with the best street being letter “J.” Don’t feel discouraged if you spend your first few
days years here walking around looking for J Street and are unable to find it. J Street is incognito because the buildings it holds are just too magical to be able to be discovered by the naked eye, but don’t let that discourage you. Stay on the lookout for J Street, you’ll find it one day.
Shut Up and Drive
Don’t even think about taking public transportation like the dark and dingy metro when you can ride in style from the comfort of your own car. Sure, you’ll have to put up with some of the worst traffic you’ve ever seen, but at least you’ll be in control of the radio.
Listen to the Weather
If Topper Shutt tells you it’s going to be sunny and 80, then there’s usually a small chance of it being sunny and 80. Don’t belittle your local weatherman by bringing an umbrella around with you. If it just so happens to turn out to be rainy and 45, at least you listened to the guy that gets it right 23% of the time. Wear that sopping wet hair and now see-through white shirt as a badge of honor.
Look for Loose Change in Fountains
It’s okay to ruin some little kid’s wish if it means finding enough coins to pay off this month’s rent. Dive on in to the WWII memorial fountain, the Senate Fountain, or the fountains at the Georgetown Waterfront and make your wish of becoming rich a reality.
Dress Casual for Work
There’s a reason why Wale raps about “DC Chillin’,” because were just about the chillest city around. Even if colleagues around you are dressed in suits and ties, feel free to use your 1st Amendment Freedom of Expression right to come to work in a t-shirt and flip flops. When Hill staffers start looking at you funny, it’s only because they wish they were dressed as cool and comfy as you are.
Don’t Forget to Pay for Museums
Especially at places like the Smithsonian museums, the Washington National Cathedral, the National Geographic Society, and the Library of Congress it is imperative that you remember to bring some cash for an entry fee. Even if you don’t see other people paying for admission, or if the people working the front desk try to convince you it’s free, don’t listen to them. They’re just trying to see how gullible you are, so slip them a Ben Franklin and don’t take “no” for an answer.
Now, you are officially ready to start anew in Washington, DC, so allow us to be the first to welcome you into the best city in the world!