Starting Small & Hoping For Big Changes

	After just 8 weeks of learning, I have a completely different outlook on the world. Learning about wicked problems was very interesting, and honestly not something I ever thought I would enjoy learning about. It truly is quite scary to think about the state of our planet. We are on a downward spiral, yet nothing is changing. Wicked problems are wicked, and it is something that so many more people need to learn about. 
	First of all, I can not even believe that I am already done with eight weeks of college. Time has literally flown past, and I am sure it will not slow down anytime soon. It is crazy to think that I am even a college student in the first place. I do not feel like I have my life planned out nearly enough, and there is no way I am this old already. Throughout my life thus far, I have had countless people tell me about how life goes, and to live up your college years, and that you grow up so fast. Not until now did I realize that they were actually all right. I blinked and here I am. Not so little anymore. Not so naive, and thrown out into the world to fend for myself. Which is quite scary, especially being so far away from home, and all of the people I know and love. I am realizing that growing up is scary, but good things never come easy. I can not wait for what the future holds, but after my eight weeks in Wicked Problems of Industrial Practice, I now understand that in order to see my future I am going to have to make some major changes in my life.
	Diving deep into wicked problems all over the world really made me think. So many people take the world for granted, myself included. We wake up each day and continue with the same old damaging habits that we always have. This can be something as little as leaving on the lights when you are not home, forgetting to turn off the water while brushing your teeth, or taking unnecessary drives. Society has become so numb to the world we live in, and no one really wants to make it a better place. Even if we did, it is almost too late. 
	Coming into the course I would not say I was living the most sustainable life. Like many others, I value the fast-paced and convenient society we live in. This course really opened my eyes to problems I did not even know existed. The worst part is that there really is no solution to them.
	It is scary to think that the world has almost been so polluted that it is irreversible. Changes must be made, and it starts with every single one of us. Mindfulness practice throughout this course has taught me a lot. It has taught me to slow down, and really be thankful for the life I live. Coming to college was a much bigger change than I ever could have imagined, and honestly, it has been so much harder than I expected. Taking just ten or so minutes a day to be at peace with myself has changed my life for the better. I am learning the importance of true bliss and happiness with myself and everything that life brings me. I am trying to change my outlook on life, and enjoy the little moments. Whether that be my walk to class, waiting in line at the dining hall, getting ready to go out with friends, or even studying for a test. I realize that my time here is short, and I do not want to spend it wishing it away. I am going to stop waiting for the weekend, waiting for fall break, or just waiting for something new, and live in the now. 
	One of the most difficult things for me has been to see the world from a different perspective. I am sure many others are the same, but it is difficult to be motivated to make a change when you are not really seeing the problems that your actions are causing. I am so blessed to live in such an amazing place and with the resources that I have available. I have access to hot water, food, clothes, shelter, clean drinking water, and so many more things that others would consider a luxury. I have really been trying to change my lens throughout my mindfulness practice. In class, I try to focus on seeing problems from the outside in and think about the struggles that so many others are going through. I need to see my role in the problem, and what I can do to try and make a difference. 
	After taking this course, I hope that I can teach others what I have learned and actually make a difference in the world. I want people to know how important it is to take action. Something as little as recycling makes a huge difference, and I feel like so many people do not realize that. There was a line from the movie The Eleventh Hour that really stuck with me. He said something like the world will not run out of time, but we will. We will keep polluting and polluting until the world becomes inhabitable. Humans will no longer be able to survive in the toxic atmosphere and we could all die off. But the Earth will still be here. It is not going anywhere, but there is a chance that we will. 
	We made the Earth this way, and it is our responsibility to return it to the way it once was. There is so much that needs to be done on this planet, and it starts with us. My main struggle is knowing what to do to make an impact. I want to make the earth a healthier and cleaner place, but I feel like my opportunities are limited. I do know that small things make a difference though, and I will do my best to start there. Some goals I have set for myself are using less wasteful products and consuming less. I am going to start using reusable grocery bags, water bottles, straws, and just plastic in general. I know that ocean pollution has become a growing problem, and cutting down on plastic is something I can do to help with that. I am also going to start consuming less. I will do that by trying to ignore some of my wants and sticking to buying things I need. It is so sad knowing that there are people in dangerous conditions, working to produce goods that I buy without even thinking about. I know there are so many clothing companies that manufacture their products in unsafe buildings and pay their workers close to nothing. 
	I hope that by making a difference in my own life, my friends and family will be motivated to do the same. I am also going to do my best to teach them the things that I have learned in Wicked Problems of Industrial Practice. I will help them to understand examples of wicked problems, and what they can do to help me make a difference in the world. 

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