Final Reflection: “In this existence, I’ll stay persistent & I’ll make a difference!”


As I reflect upon everything I have learned over the past few months in Professor Tippett’s Global Problems class, I find it difficult to summarize the impact it has had on me. Words truly cannot do justice to what my mind and my heart have experienced this semester.

When I first decided to major in Environmental Science, all I knew was that I wanted to get paid to be out in the woods and on the river all day. Granted, I still hope for such working conditions….but my goals have gotten much bigger and more meaningful. I’ve never felt more passionate about anything in all my life as I do about the health of this planet and ALL of the people and other living creatures that inhabit it. I truly want to change the world, and refuse to do anything less than devote my life and career to creating a brighter future for the next generations. I dream of a future where everyone on this earth has food security, access to clean water and air, and the ability to trust that their leaders will look out for their best interests. I dream of a world with a STABLE climate- where resources are sustainably harvested and greed isn’t the norm.

I’ve spent so many years drifting through college, going through the motions while wasting time and money (I should be a damn doctor by now with all the credits I’ve accumulated!) But in all my years, I’ve never been so inspired by a class. It’s taken me 3 years of community college and 2 more at UMW to reach this point….but through the guidance and passion of one VERY dedicated professor, I finally feel like I have discovered God’s purpose for me. Until recently (about a week ago, in fact), I was terribly embarrassed and ashamed of the fact that I’ve been in college for five years and only have an associate’s degree from Germanna to show for it. But none of that matters to me anymore. Upon conclusion of this semester, I experienced a real-life, “full circle” moment that literally brought me to tears. I finally realized (and accepted) the fact that every little thing I had done in my life up to this point – every seemingly bad decision, every action or lack of action, every ounce of hard work- it has ALL brought me into the light of my life purpose. For the first time all my 27 years of life, I do not feel doubtful. I do not feel afraid. I do not feel like I am on the wrong path. So what do I feel? Friends, I feel awake. I truly hope and pray that every single one of you gets to experience the same blissful joy I felt the moment I realized my purpose. We all struggle through our own personal turmoil, and all of us have been through hell and back in our own ways. Do NOT let times like these discourage you! Keep on keeping on, fellow environmentalists! May you all continue on your journeys, follow your dreams, and BELIEVE in yourselves! You can and WILL accomplish everything you put your mind to!

Finally, since I’m submitting this on Earth Day, I want to remind everyone that EVERY day is Earth Day! I also want to share this song by one of my favorite bands, Nahko Bear and Medicine for the People. This is my personal environmental anthem, hope you all enjoy!