Hilltop on the Hill, 2013 Inauguration

Twenty-one communication studies and journalism students are in Washington, D.C., in January 2013 as part of the Meadows School of the Arts’ Hilltop on the Hill program. In addition to reporting on Inaugural events, the students will visit media and government sites, and meet with political communicators, journalists and SMU alumni. The trip is led by Rita Kirk, professor of communication studies; Daniel Schill, assistant professor of communication studies, and Carolyn Barta, journalism professor. Endowed by the Bauer Foundation, the Hilltop on the Hill program also takes students studying political communication to political party conventions and the G8 Economic Summit.

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In with the Yo-Pro’s

An update from Madison, a junior communication studies major:

Upon arrival in Washington, D.C, I knew that the city was a different animal. The air was crisp, and you could smell ambition and perseverance on each 20-something who passed you by without even a glance at their perfect wardrobe. People know what they want and aren’t afraid to go get it.

In Dallas, you almost immediately get sucked into the bubble and create a routine consisting of work, play, rest and repeat. Dallasites get comfortable and rarely veer off to experience something different, with the exception of trying a new restaurant for brunch. The politicos and young professionals of Washington, D.C., do live in the same kind of bubble, but they are careful to not let themselves get stuck on a carousel-style of living. Each day is an opportunity for them to make a difference and try something out of their comfort zone.

These distinctions may come from the differences in the age of people living in these two cities. Once you leave the confines of the Uptown bar scene and head into downtown Dallas, you all of a sudden get a lot more grey hair and “seasoned” citizens. You are more likely to encounter a 60-year-old billionaire CEO than a young 30-something power broker. Washington, D.C, is the complete opposite. Sure, you have your grey-haired men in suits, but overall Washington, D.C., is an unexpectedly young city.

The hustle and bustle and promising prospects that one can find Washington, D.C.,  undoubtedly draw many to make the city their home. The city is filled with people who know how to work hard and play hard, too. People have passion for what they do and refuse to get stuck doing the same thing day after day. The city can be challenging, ruthless, and overwhelming, but that is just all part of its charm. And being able to walk by the Capitol on the way to work or take a nightly jog by the Washington Monument is only an added bonus.

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