This was the most prominent factor in defining my experience at DU and my first year as a college student and I could not be more grateful. I came in not knowing what to expect and honestly a little nervous to be thrown into a group of strangers who I would be “stuck” with for the whole year. However, there is not a group of “strangers” who I would have rather been “stuck” with since September. The class was great but it was the people who really made this something I will remember and cherish. I learned a lot but mostly from my peers and the discussions we had eating dinner together; taking the light rail to different LLC events; between watching episodes of different TV shows; or just lying in the hallway until someone looked at the clock and realized it had been hours.
The retreats are something that, even though they never went quite as planned, felt sort of like a family reunion (with less yelling and minus that one “weird uncle”). They were times where we could all be in the same place at the same time and catch up, prepare each other for the quarter ahead, and reflect on the time that had already passed. It was amazing to see how much we had all changed from the awkward “college students” attending the Fall retreat to the slightly less awkward college students who were on the Winter retreat. Even how we discussed sustainability has changed since when we all first arrived at DU. We started off focused on a few topics that we would discuss in class, things we saw in the news or in Earth Science classes in high school- topics such as climate change, composting, acidification, etc. However, now our discussions change based on our different opinions, things we’ve come across on campus, and how other forms of sustainability play into environmental concerns.
The service projects and extra events were really what made the “class” part of the LLC an experience that taught in ways that differed from a more traditional class setting. Receiving lectures about public transportation and Denver are so memorable when we hear them while on public transportation going through Denver. Learning about how social sustainability plays a major part in the environmental sustainability of a community becomes an aspect of how we think when we learn about it from a campus dedicated to both. Furthermore, learning about how to help the earth in a class and then giving us the materials and base to help with community service projects turns what we learn into a mission.
I could write a novel about all the things, experiences, and people I will miss next year that come from LLC. The passion that was put into creating the program has been felt and I can only hope that next year’s LLCers find the same friendships, lessons, and interests that I can able to find on this nine month adventure.
Keara Murphy, ESLLC 2017-2018