Over the past four years in Durham, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be a student at the University of New Hampshire, formally what it means to be a Wildcat. Looking back now as a senior writing my last blog for the Sustainability Institute, I’m fond of all the memories I’ve made and experiences I’ve had because they have made me into the individual that I am today. From attending vivacious UNH sporting events, to learning all the UNH slang, to getting a coveted internship at the Sustainability Institute, I managed to not only take on the Wildcat identity full force, but also managed to find myself in the process.
After May 21st, I won’t be able to go anywhere without thinking about my second home that has crucially helped shape me. While I’ve grown through the organics of everything that is college life, I’ve understood the college culture and the community that UNH offers, which has enriched me in all aspects of life. Most importantly though is all that I will take away from UNH from learning what it means to be a sustainable Wildcat!
Sustainability has been embedded throughout my life. When I was younger, I thought it was something that was excessive and uncool, but through my mothers guidance and teachings I realized how important it is to give back to the Earth. Coming to UNH was another milestone in my sustainability life. I knew the school was focused in sustainability from eating in the dining halls, to seeing the recycling bin in our dorm rooms freshman year, but I didn’t really know what it meant to be sustainable on campus. Yes I would recycle, and would try and limit buying bottled water, but I didn’t know that participating in something bigger than me at college would make me feel so alive.
After hearing back last semester that I got the position as Engagement and Outreach intern at the Sustainability Institute here at UNH, I was overjoyed because not only was sustainability something I knew about and was passionate about, but felt that I could do something meaningful through my work. Over the past 8 months working for one of the top sustainable institutes and top sustainable colleges in the country, I’ve learned a lot about how our community operates. UNH has been able to change the perception of sustainability by living green and embedding sustainable living into college life. Whether students fully realize it or not, this is something that leaves a lasting impression on students. Many members of campus understand that sustainability is one of the main pillars of our school. It’s not likely that you get a group of young individuals to partake in sustainable efforts throughout their college career, but UNH has been doing a good job of implementing the importance of sustainable habits through its culture.
I’m so proud to be at a school that takes pride in all things sustainable and ‘being green’, because it i helping our environment. As I graduate the one thing I will remember the most about the University of New Hampshire is how it has been able to educate me in all the right ways, and has given me hope and understanding for what it means to live sustainably. It’s helped me look at the way I live my life and how I’m contributing (positively/negatively) to our world, and for this I’m forever grateful. So if you’re a student at the University of New Hampshire, recognize how amazing we are to be gifted with learning what it means to live sustainably at school. There is so much our world has to offer, so why shouldn’t we give back?