university of mississippi

How Earth Day Changed My Life

Currently, I’m hiking in the Appalachian Mountains and have internet once a day-if that, so I haven’t been able to do my usual researched posts.  I figured I could at least tell y’all more about me and how I got interested in saving the Earth!

In the first grade, I heard of Earth Day for the first time — I mean shouldn’t everyday on Earth be Earth Day?  I participated in a play for Earth Day.  The ideas, of course, were oversimplified for my peers and me to understand, but learning that we were all destroying the Earth bothered me more than my friends.  I remember running back home and telling my mom, “We have to take shorter showers!” and “We have to recycle!” I learned that my small town in Mississippi did not even have a place to recycle within a 45-minute drive.  Since those were the only two methods I had learned to save the Earth, I was very let down.  I told my mom we had to leave Mississippi immediately; how was I supposed to save the Earth in a place that doesn’t even have somewhere to recycle?

On Earth Day four years later, I learned about solar power.  I realized that there was more I could do besides taking short showers. Something clicked in my head and I knew I wanted to use my math and science skills to help the Earth.  For years, I looked at universities at least a flight away from Mississippi that would actually have recycling bins all over campus; I dreamed of going to a university where like-minded individuals would surround me.  During my last year of high school, I realized that running from my home simply because it seemed so detrimental to the Earth did not make sense. Mississippi presents so many great opportunities to educate and work to better the Earth.  This is how I arrived at the decision to go to the University of Mississippi.


speaking at an event at The University of Mississippi

When I got to campus, I was beyond pleased to find recycling bins all over campus.  I found a home in the Office of Sustainability and a family in the students of environmental studies.  Of course, we are a minority on my campus, but I believe we are growing.  My classes have exposed me to environmental issues in ways I would have never imagined. In my engineer courses, we have discussed issues related to pollution.  We have discussed how the pull of being cost-effective often outweighs the pull of being kind to the Earth.  In international studies courses, we have discussed how water security can affect communities across the world.  Millions of people live without clean water everyday, and surprisingly, some of these people are in my own hometown. In my German classes, we have discussed how different legislation in Germany creates a completely different economic environment.  They are able to continue economic development while maintaining relatively healthy communities and a healthy environment.

I am currently working on my undergraduate degrees in Physics and German.  After graduation, I intend on pursuing a graduate degree in renewable energy in Europe.  I’ve got a couple years before that decision, though, so we will see where I end up!  At the root of it all, I hope to spend the rest of my life researching ways to improve how we treat our home, the Earth.  I do not want to have a narrow view of environmentalism that only included renewable energy, which is why I created this blog.  It is a good place to store all my thoughts surrounding a wide range of topics about the environment and great motivation to research and think harder than I ever have before!