A New Learning Opportunity, Wicked Problems

When first enrolling in this class I really had no idea what wicked problems were and I have never heard of it before this year. Since enrolling in this class I have learned so much about one’s well being, sustainability, and how to have a different outlook on many different issues. Granted that I did miss the first two classes because of some timing issues, but I began to come more frequently and enjoyed the class. I had the pleasure of working with a great partner and had an amazing professor that furthered my knowledge about new subjects, including meditation. At first I thought it was random to start the class off with a meditation session, but I took it as a new learning experience. This goes hand in hand with what was taught in the class about being mindful. 

After taking this class my outlook has certainly changed for the better. I am now more aware of what I can do personally to help with being sustainable and what I can do to help other people become more sustainable as well. The first thing that comes to mind that I have learned from this course is to be mindful. This will certainly come up everytime someone mentions the class or even if I think about the class myself. By being mindful of your own surroundings and actions you begin to take accountability for what you put into your body and what you put out as well. If one is not happy or stable in their own lives it can impact their surroundings and the people around them as well. From experience when you are too busy or not feeling your best you tend to not care what your living environment is and how it looks until you take a step back and look. Once you stop what you are doing and actually look at your surroundings you will see how messy or unorganized it is. This can be the same for the outside environment as well. If we as a collective don’t take a step back and think about what we are doing to the environment then it will get worse as the years go on. Then when it gets to a point where there are no ways to reverse the effects of what we have done, we would’ve wished we had realized sooner that what we are putting out into the world can have serious effects on the environment. 

Being mindful is more than realizing that your actions have consequences, but also taking care of yourself. Your body is impacted by what you feed it whether it be what you are actually eating or what you are watching and consuming with your eyes. This can have a positive or negative impact on your metal health. You take care of yourself first before anything else. During my time in this class this has become even more important to me. Once you are fulfilled by what you have and with yourself then you can begin to figure out other problems that you could possibly help with. You basically reflect on what you have and what you can do to better yourself even more. Once you do that then you start to expand outwards to figure out what more you can do. I’ve learned this before and I guess I kind of lost my way a bit throughout the year and since I’ve taken this class it has reminded me that I need to take care of myself and be more mindful about what I’m consuming myself. 

I have heard many different perspectives from taking this class and I can honestly say that I enjoyed listening to every single one of them. It gives you a new perspective and it even expands your mind and thought process as well. That’s how you learn and once you open yourself up to new thoughts and ideas it can also help you be more compassionate and really reflect on how you treat other people as well. Once you step into this new thought process you begin to find new ways to help people. This also goes hand in hand with helping the environment. 

Being sustainable is one of the other things that you learn how to do in this class as well. You take a subject, do some research, and article reading to figure out how to help out the environment and what you can do to help influence other people to do so. You learn many ways to be sustainable. This class is kind of, in my opinion, a building block on how to become more sustainable and how to react to it. First you learn about many different scenarios and then you read about different solutions that people have or have tried. You read about the different opinions on how to deal with the situation. This is where listening or being open to new ideas and thoughts come into play. Being open to new thoughts and sustainability to go hand in hand. You need one to help the other and it does have an impact if one is not open to new ideas. 

Adding onto the sustainability subject, I have learned more ways to help with being sustainable and even furthered my knowledge about sustainability. I knew on my own that you can be more sustainable by recycling old clothes and you can do this by donating them or even upcycling them. If you do not know what upcycling is, it is a technique that someone does to turn old clothes into something new. For example you can turn an old skirt or pants into a purse or I know you have seen the blankets made out of old t-shirts. That is upcycling and I think that is a pretty good skill to know. Since I am a fashion design major I have to think about what the waste from my garments does to the environment. 

Sustainability plays an important role in everyday life no matter what your major is or what you do on a daily basis. Textile waste is among the most types of waste found in landfills all over the world. When making a garment you need to be aware of what type of material you use and who is making it as well. Most big companies that use factories to produce their clothing can have major impacts on the environment around them. If the factories are not careful they can cause a spill in chemicals that can be harmful to the people, animals, and plants around them. As a consumer one needs to be mindful and aware of what they are buying and who they are buying from. Some fast fashion companies do use sweatshops and do not pay their workers as much as they need to be. By being a conscious consumer you are helping the environment far more than someone who just buys things on the whim and does not care where the products are sourced. There are little things you can do to minimize the footprint you are leaving by doing a little bit of research to further understand that sustainability is very much needed. By doing your part and researching ways to be sustainable you are helping the environment immensely. You are being mindful and aware of what you put out into the world. Again to reiterate my words, mindfulness and sustainability to go hand in hand. 

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