Begin typing your search above and press return to search. Press Esc to cancel.

The DC Scene

<– Back to YSAs Across the USA

The DC Scene


Dominant Occupations: YSA’s of the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia—basically in and around DC) often fall into two major buckets:

1) DC-specific:

 • Staffers: Just as “temples dot the earth,” Mormons dot the Hill. We are well represented on staffs in both the House and Senate.

 • Government Jobs: Whether it’s for the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Health and Human Services, YSAs are in jobs ranging from admins to policy experts.

• Public Affairs/Think Tanks: We are also well represented at think tanks, policy institutes and private sector public affairs/communication firms.

2) Non-DC

• A good mix: non-profit do-gooder types, teachers (mostly urban/Teach For America), accountants, consultants, people working at startups, students (grad and undergrad), entertainers, etc.

Average Age Range: 24-34

DC State of Mind: Networkers. Relationships and connections are currency in DC, and opportunities to meet people and socialize are constant. While your average DC resident is ambitious and driven, they’re quick to help with introductions and employment assistance.

Girl/Guy Ratio: Roughly 2:1 girls to guys, although this has narrowed in recent years. Two years ago one ward had 3 relief societies and 1 elder’s quorum….now that same ward has 3 relief societies and 2 elder’s quorums.

Hobbies: They might seem touristy, but even we locals love our early morning runs or midnight rides to the monuments. Museums, concerts, baseball games & outdoor activities in the summer, and weekend trips to Deep Creek Lake, the Outer Banks or NYC. Winter can be freezing and depressing — but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do: check out ice-skating in the Sculpture Garden, concerts at the Kennedy Center, the famous Swedish Christmas bazaar at the Swedish Embassy.

Local Hangouts and Hotspots: Good Stuff Eatery, We the Pizza, Café Rio (yeah, we have that), Harper’s Ferry, Founding Farmers (run don’t walk, but get a reservation first), The Carlyle, Eastern Market (let’s talk about those Pancakes though!), Baked and Wired (seriously, always a Mormon there), Union Market, Surfside, Ted’s Bulletin, Crystal City (aka little Provo: a neighborhood in Arlington where you can have a slow dance party in one house, a ‘90s party four doors down and some sort of “family history is fun” activity going on at the church four blocks away…ALL AT THE SAME TIME)

Typical Night on the Weekends: 1) Dinner, usually early, and make sure you have a reservation, then 2) An activity: movie, Nats game, concert, hang out at someone’s house — most of us live in houses in the suburbs around DC, followed by 3) Bed. Unlike our NYC counterparts, we don’t really socialize too late into the night. We’re tired; it’s been a long week; leave us alone. There are plenty of nightclubs, dance parties, “swing dance functions” and pretty much anything you could want, but we do sometimes, but we like our sleep. Especially since we’ll probably be up early in the morning to go enjoy nature somewhere.

Sports Scene: Were you a Nationals fan before? Probably not. Are you now? Yes, or at least you pretend to be you won’t be shunned.  Oh, and did you know Bryce Harper, who plays on the Nationals, is Mormon? If not, you will soon enough. Overall though, one of the greatest criticisms of DC sports culture is its lack of identity: as a transient city where people come and go constantly, the Wizards, Redskins, Nats and Capitols have struggled to build healthy, loyal fanbases for their historically unsuccessful teams. However, as each team has started to win in recent years, attendance has risen. There are definitely some die-hard fans. And baseball games have always been a favorite for the YSA’s, in part because ticket prices generally range from $5-$15 and the stadium is accessible.

Cultural Scene: Is walking up and down Georgetown, seeing everyone in matching North Face jackets considered a cultural scene? Kidding. Besides the obvious rich American culture here, we have the National Mall (not the shopping kind), which is flanked by tons of different FREE museums – National Gallery, Portrait Gallery, Air & Space Museum, etc. The Smithsonian world is spread across the district, and there are also niche museums like the Newseum, the Spy Museum (don’t do it), the Post Office Museum, and a recently reopened Holocaust museum.  The Kennedy Center has free concerts every night, ensembles like the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Opera, and world-class ballet companies visiting every season.

Diet: DC residents, particularly the YSAs are fairly health conscious…unless it’s one of those “I’m too busy to cook so I’m eating out every night” weeks. Which seems to be every week somehow. So maybe we’re not very health-conscious after all. But at least we go running!

Myth Bust: We aren’t all into politics. Some of us are, some of us were, some of us are downright sick of them. AND we’re not all Republicans. Even if we should be. JK.

What It’s Missing: Good hair days. Let’s not even talk about what the humidity does to you in the sweaty summer heat.

Common Vice: Staying at home and going to bed early.

Ward Breakdown: A recent boundary switch rocked the scene, but there are still some great choices.
1) Colonial 1st and Colonial 2nd: Located in Crystal City in Arlington VA, aka “Little Provo.” Fun, often transient ward. A good balance of people who all live super close together and some who live a little further away.
2) DC 2nd: Covers the district and areas north of DC in Maryland. Lots of interns. With the exception of a handful of people, most live outside of the District. And although it’s only 20 minutes away, it doesn’t go down to Arlington much and they don’t go up there either.
3) Potomac Ward: Mid-singles older than 31. Shares a building with the Colonials.
4) Langley Ward: Covers the area deeper into Falls Church, Virginia
5) Braddock Ward: Covers the area deeper into Alexandria.
6) There are a few others in Baltimore, Annapolis and surrounding other areas not far from the district.
7) Family wards: Many singles, particularly mid-singles, opt to attend family wards in the area as well.

Temple Proximity: The DC Temple, arguably one of the prettiest, is just north of the district in Kensington, MD, which is about 40-60 minutes from Arlington, and anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes from those who live in the District/Maryland. Try not to go during rush hour. Which is almost always, unfortunately.

Dating DC Guys: They are smart and hard-working, and thus tend to be busy. Whether they’re in grad school, on the hill or in a more permanent job, there’s a good chance they’re working hard for their future. But they make time to go on dates and they’ll treat you right when they have the time.

Dating DC Girls: Ambitious, career-driven and successful. They know what they want and they have worked hard to get where they are. They are high in quantity and even higher in quality. But they’re busy too — and they always have things with which they could fill their schedules. Make sure to put in the effort.

Classic Ward FHE/Activities: Interesting inner-city service projects, Nats games, museum visits and cultural events.

Resident Mormon Celeb: Senators Harry Reid and Orrin Hatch live in the area, Senators Flake, Lee and about 20 LDS congressmen spend a large portion of every week in our fair district.

Common Vice: We don’t have vices. We’re future politicians.

The beauty of Arlington: Arlington is a 5-minute drive and a 10-minute metro ride from downtown DC. You can enjoy city life while having the benefits of the suburbs including a backyard, a driveway, parking and houses — instead of small, expensive apartments.

The beauty of the District:  Those who DO live in the District enjoy the perks of going days without driving their car.  You can walk to work, take the Metro wherever you go (including Church!), take the bus, or use Capitol Bikeshare.  You never have to debate whether or not you want to go into the District to deal with parking — because you’re already there!

Cherry Blossom Season: It’s beautiful, and it sucks. It only lasts for 10 days and it’s the worst tourist time of the year. Your Instagram will be BLOWING UP with everyone’s “artistic” variation of the exact same cherry blossom shot. At least it marks the end of winter.

Interns: Every singles ward has a group of interns every semester. Prepare for them.

DC Might Be For You If: You’re a people person, consider yourself politically active/informed, and want a combination of city + open spaces.

To subscribe to the Colonial Listserv for questions about the area and housing information, send an email to:

<– Back to YSAs Across the USA 


+ Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.