Making it to the Future City Finals

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 February 2017

This past week has been a whirlwind. I was planning to go to Washington DC with Mira, a fellow ambassador, to judge the Future City Finals, but was not planning on getting the flu a few days before.

Here’s what happened. It’s Tuesday, I’m finishing up my classes for the day waiting to have a senior design meeting when my stomach starts making funny noises. Fast forward through all graphic details, and I am home miserable all night, then I sleep literally ALL DAY on Wednesday. I need to get his out of my system as soon as possible.

Sickness is so different in college. In high school, sick Jane was half happy because at least she didn’t have to go to school. Nowadays, sick Jane is 0% happy because time is the only money she has. Thursday, thankfully, I didn’t have class because of a water main break, so I didn’t have to decide whether to go or not (PTL). Friday and Saturday, I frantically caught up on all of my work just to fly out to DC and start a hectic day of judging.

The Future City competition is for middle school students who have worked all year on designing a city of the future. With so much science and details in their designs, it makes you think you’re judging college students.

We were judging with so many different people. I met random marketing advisors for construction firms who were sent to represent their companies and also past presidents of super big engineering organizations. We even met President Obama’s STEM advisor (SO COOL). It was an incredible experience to meet them all and learn from them. The whole trip was incredible, especially with the cool museums we went to and delicious food we ate.

Looking back on the past week, drowning in work to catch up on, half of me wonders whether it was all worth it. The flu, definitely would have stopped if I could have. The trip, though, not a chance. These are the experiences that will develop me and that I will remember, and I am so thankful that we got to go. The only cost will be pretending this weekend is just two days of free, intense studying. Because that’s exactly what it will be.

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