Written by Nile Drochak, ESLLC 2017-2018
Now that my third quarter in the Environmental Sustainability Living and Learning Community is coming to a close, I have the ability to look back upon the experience and see the benefit it had on me and my college career. In addition to this being a reflective post, it can also serve as a sample for any incoming freshman who is considering joining the ESLLC.
Our ESLLC class has been mostly stress free, and I felt as if I learned something new during each class. We went from talking about the different types of conifers to having a guest speaker come in to talk about each of our unique strengths we possess. Since our class has only been once a week, I found it exciting to be able to attend those classes when I had the chance. Our class was also a good opportunity to learn about sustainable techniques the positive effects it can have on our environment. Our class is also full of people passionate about creating a sustainable environment. For example, one of the girls in our class is trying to eliminate the use of plastic straws by getting rid of them through policy in the dining hall. The people who are also passionate about environmental sustainability can be inspiring and will motivate you to create positive change on campus.
For the Spring quarter retreat the ESLLC went white water raft down the Arkansas River in Buena Vista, Colorado. We stayed at a campsite for 3 days and 2 nights. It was a welcoming experience because older students who were in the ESLLC also came along, and built a sense of community from this retreat. Some of the people from the ESLLC and I went on a hike on mountains near our campsite. At the top of our hike, some of my friends and I brought material we learned from the classroom and discussed the glacial processes that caused a valley to form. Even in the most isolated of places, it was amazing to find human trash such metal scraps and a plastic bag. We saw the negative human effects on our environment during our hike.
For any incoming freshman who wants a sense of community and a better understanding of our environment, I would recommend joining the ESLLC. Both the program coordinator and the professor are helpful and does a great job allowing us to appreciate and respect the environment. The retreats are a lot of fun, and there is also a learning opportunity pertaining to environmental sustainability. For example, our first quarter retreat took place on Mt. Evans and restoring trails. We did this so that hikers on Mt. Evans would have a safer time hiking up that particular mountain. We also applied some of the things we learned in the classroom to apply it on our retreats. Overall, the retreats and the ESLLC has given me a greater understanding and appreciate for the environment which we live in.