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The Washington Post Describes the “Freshman 15” – 15 Things You Need to Know About Washington, D.C. May 1, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Washington D.C..
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This blog comes straight from the Sunday Article titled “The Freshman 15 – What Every First-Year College Student Needs to Know About Washington.” I found myself laughing at some of these as a nearby resident in Arlington, so I thought I would share with you what the experts advise as “must know” information about the Washington, D.C. Metro area:

1. Stand to the Right….Instructions on riding the metro.
2. Recognize that the Nats are a major league team. Even though they may not win enough games, or have the popularity of the Yankees or Red Sox, they actually ARE a Major League National Team. Go Figure.
3. Don’t dance at indie-rock shows. Recognize the seriousness of local DC residents. Stoic faces and stiff bodies, only.
4. Maintain residency in your home state (if your new home is in the District). Ever wonder why the DC license plate says “Taxation without Representation,” read this one to find out why.
5. Forget the fake ID. Underage? Don’t even bother.
6. Remember that the Metro shuts down at 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Never get stranded in Adams Morgan or Dupont after a night out of maxing out your credit card and no cash.
7. That police car is probably not pulling you over. Those flashing lights and sirens are scary no matter how old, or how long you’ve been driving. Find out why they drive with their lights on.
8. Yield to cars in traffic circles. Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, Thomas Circle…so many! Why? And how to navigate them.
9. Better yet: Ride the bus. You have less of a chance of losing cell service if you ride the bus. (*Although, some of you may not know that Verizon has an exclusive deal with the DC Metro system for cell “towers” down under.)
10. Even better: Walk. Be a tourist!
11. There is no J Street. This is tricky when people tell you that streets go in alphabetical order, you’ll be walking around in circles if you don’t know this one!
12. NoMa is a neighborhood. Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Dupont….now add NoMa to your list of vocab.
13. Take your palate global. You can find cuisines from every country in the District – go ahead, be adventurous.
14. Sample go-go. Information on local music unique to the DC scene.
15. Get the tourist stuff out of the way now. I can tell you that even after living here, I still only go to the monuments and museums when I have out of town guests. Go look now, so you know where to take people when they visit – and keep the painful tourist traps to a minimum!

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