I really like that I learned so much in the course of four weeks. This was a very interesting class for me because I have never been in a class that is focused on the “wicked problems” that are currently surrounding us and affecting our future. I knew that we all in some way affect our environment, but I did not realize how often we all actually do, let alone myself. I remember when living in Tulsa, they gave us a trash can and a recycling bin, my family and I got used to setting apart our trash from our recycling every day and it became part of our routine. Once we moved to the city of Bixby, we noticed they did not recycle. We fell out of that routine that we were so used to back in our old town. One way that we could help our community and environment would be to start recycling again on our own. I have had conversations with my parents over this class and we have slowly started to recycle on our own. I like that my words have impacted them and have made them want to recycle again. If we all were to do that, or have every city enforced us to recycle, we would help out the wicked problems much more. Another thing I began to do was buy a reusable bottle that I carry with me at all times to prevent myself from buying water bottles. This has helped me save money as well as ‘voting’ on what I am spending my money on. One last thing that I have found myself contributing to is the metal straws that became a big trend recently. I love my straw so much and carry it with me everywhere as well. The more people use them, the more people that are around possibly notice and decide to use less plastic and buy a reusable metal straw too. Of course these things are a small portion of what is a mass issue we have going on all over the world, but somehow people are adapting a lot to eco-friendly products because it is becoming more common in our society than it was years ago.
I like how our community here at Oklahoma State is and how there are recycle bins all over campus as well as trash bins, but I will never forget what I was told once on my first semester here. I was finishing up my lunch and one of the custodians was changing the bag on a trash can so I wait on him to finish and he tells me “just throw it into the recycling bin, OSU doesn’t recycle anyway” after this he kind of just laughed and I was shocked by what I had just heard. I was not sure what to do so I went to another trash can. I just could not believe it, but it really made me wonder if he was serious or not. That also made me curious if it is like that in other universities as well, or even other places, not just universities. It made me realize that people can portray a certain image onto themselves to look good for the community, but it could all just be fake. I wish recycling was taken more serious. If not, we are doing nothing to help out our earth and are just letting it rot out.
One thing that will stick onto me since these four weeks is mindfulness. I didn’t realize what it really meant until we touched the topic. This means to put your attention onto the present and being able to collect your thoughts and the way you feel over certain issues with no judgement. This was one of the things I enjoyed most. Meditation really helped me train my body into relaxation. This is something I used to not even think twice about doing in my daily routine, but now I try my best to squeeze it into my schedule. I even recently started looking over some of the apps that were provided by Professor Armstrong and I looked over a sleeping monitor app. I found this very cool because you record your sleep, have a sleeping ‘coach’ and get to see statistics on your heart rate and breathing rate. This has been helpful for me because I have always struggled with sleeping and recently have noticed that this app does work and has helped me get more sleep and relaxation. There are also other apps that just play meditational music for you, and I have found that so relaxing. It helps me think over things and focus on my thoughts more.
Overall I tried my best to contribute to this class. I did feel lost some of the times because I was unsure of some of the topics that we read about, but getting to talk to it during class helped me get a better understanding over those topics. I am sure that with the technology that we have now we are going to be able to make a huge turn in the wicked problems that we currently face, but the only thing that is stopping us from that is our belief. There are people who do not think climate change is real and go on about their day being oblivious to these problems. It takes a big amount of people to make a difference and we need to act on it now in order to see tomorrow.
As I progress my years in college I am hoping to find more classes like this to help with my major as an Interior Designer. I know that creating more sustainable designs will be beneficial for our environment. I hope that I am able to make a difference in my community and can aspire my goals into pursuing others to make a change in the way they live and contribute to our environment as well. This class has really made me think more about the way I will and want to handle things in the future.