Before I switched my major from Marketing at the school of business, I had never heard or was taught about “wicked problems” or even the importance of sustainability. After I switched over to Fashion Merchandising at Human Sciences I learned about wicked problems and unsustainable practices in one of the first classes I was enrolled in. I believe it was research methods or textiles when I first was introduced to the problem, I am not completely sure. I was in complete and utter shock how I, being in my second year of college and as a full-time student, was never taught or informed about the wicked problems many people feed to daily. As a marketing major, I was taught all about economy and customer experience, but the curriculum seemed to have left out the part of how these cultural norms, companies, and ideas are one of the biggest influencers and causes of the decline of the environment. I feel as if there should be a time when not only business students but every student here at OSU and across the nation, should be taught this subject matter, as well as the capability and influence to help solve or lessen the problems we are being taught to cause. It is such a twisted way of learning. I have seen a drastic change in myself after my time here spent in the DHM program. The program has such an amazing way of opportunities, and the professors have the most understanding, beautiful, acceptable, and proactive way of teaching.
The most knowledgeable and informative class I have taken at human sciences is DHM 1101, which is Wicked Problems. The title of the course is a foreshadow of the serious class structure and curriculum taught. The class has been one of the deepest and most honest eye-opening classes I have taken. Upon leaving the first lecture, I was anxious and held a heavy heart due to the information that was covered on the first day. Throughout the seven weeks that followed my first-class lecture, the lectures and readings became heavier and more wicked. The scheduled readings that provided multiple views covered various wicked problems that the world once faced as well as wicked problems we are currently dealing with. The readings, videos, and lectures are serious and chilling as they introduce you to the problem of harmful situations which often opens my mind and makes me think about what could have been done differently and what I can do to change or help the problems. After I started attending this class weekly, it began to bring change to the way I think about every situation and implemented change into my daily life.
The class brought the feeling of compassion to the way I view any problem whether it concerns me or not. These problems could range from issues that my friends might be dealing with to the new war that is happening in Ukraine. No matter the range, importance, or urgency of the problem, I have started to view, analyze, and react differently than I have in the past before taking this course. I have noticed that have I started to become concerned with my daily decisions while the lectures brought curiosity into my thinking strategies. I have become curious and concerned about what might happen in the future and what wicked problems I may be helping to create on a daily basis. This has helped me become more empathetic while I have been experiencing change intellectually and emotionally.
To define ‘wicked problems’ in my own words, it is a substantial problem that is usually extremely difficult to solve, that requires a large amount of change in a certain structure. To actively bring change to a problem one might start from the core, such as themselves. Since the middle of the course, we have begun to meditate at the beginning of each lecture. As this began, I decided to try my best to fit in at least 10-20 minutes of meditation into my schedule. From the first day, I implemented meditation into my schedule, I have been able to actively keep up with daily meditation, only missing a few days of meditation towards the end of the course. As I stated before, I only meditate for around 10-20 minutes. As the days went one I have been able to efficiently meditate for around 25 minutes without becoming, anxious, distracted, or weary during my time. Since I have started this daily journey of self-healing and reflection, I have noticed an outstanding difference in the way I feel about many situations including my self-image, and mental state. I have noticed while meditating I have started listening to my mind and body, allowing myself to work out the harm that had been done previously. In the second week, I noticed I was sleeping better at night and had more energy during the day. With these reactions, I have noticed I have had fewer mood changes and more happiness, and a feeling of calmness throughout my days. This journey has brought change not only somatically, but intellectually with my mind, and emotionally with my heart. I have made peace with many things that were previously holding me down. Personally, I have been able to see a significant difference in all aspects of myself. Taking the practices, that I have learned from this course, I have been able to implement a successful mindful practice that benefits many aspects of my daily life. As of right now, I plan to keep practicing mindfulness using daily meditation throughout the rest of the semester. Because I have had such great results I feel as if I were to continue practicing, I could grow even more as a person resulting in peace within myself as well as finding peace in every situation that will come later on.
Due to the knowledge of the subject along with much detailed analysis that has been practiced, I feel as if I am now capable of creating or implementing change. As I did with meditation, I now see a future that holds me accountable for a change. This future would consist of change I can personally implement as well as change I could hopefully pass on and teach others to do. I would be able to provide the subjects with examples and details from my personal experience. From the time spent during this course, I now have a desire to create change. I understand how difficult it can be to implement change. It is hard to convince a person that what they have been taught or what they are accustomed to is wrong, and it can be even more difficult to convince them to implement change and continuously stay on track. It may also be extremely difficult for one to be consistent throughout the time of change. Important or needed change is almost always accompanied by a large amount of time. To create change, one must be willing to give or take many factors, such as time, for the change to occur.
I have decided to take my positive experiences of change to a new level because one day I want to be able to live sustainably. I have learned so much about how unsustainable the fashion world is, and I would love to change the way I shop retail. I want to stop purchasing items from unsustainable companies such as Shein, Hello Molly, Fashion Nove, etc. Instead, I want to shop sustainably. I want to show my close friends the negative effects these companies have on the earth as well the unethical rules they follow. These companies are ruining cultures and rapidly harming the environment. I will use my social media platforms to provide knowledge of this subject along with specific ways one could implement change, such as shopping at more sustainable stores for better quality clothing. I understand not everyone is willing to follow in my footsteps, but I want to be able to give others the opportunity. Someday I hope to be the reason someone changed, then I could look back and notice my accomplishments of implementing a positive change not only in my life but others as well.