My Sustainable Summer experience was not only a good preview of what it feels like to be in college but also a stepping stone to becoming a more independent and responsible person. In addition, I was able to meet different people from different places and learn about sustainability in a fun and interactive way.
I had mixed feelings when I first came across this program on the internet. I was attracted to the amazing Dartmouth campus that this program takes place on and the resources they offer. But at the same time I had doubts about flying 2000 miles across the nation and taking care of everything myself. I even tried convincing a few close friends to sign up with me to act as a partner I could rely on. Unfortunately, none of them agreed. After days of consideration, I decided to step outside my own comfort zone and enroll in the program. This decision turned out to be something I never regretted.
On the first day of the program, everything felt different to me. I did not know a single person there and there isn’t someone to hold my hand and guide me around. Sustainable Summer offers an interesting curriculum and friendly staff members, however, the lack of friends killed my passion to learn and I no longer yearned to stay. After the first two days of dwelling in my own virtual cave, I decided to open up and talk to the people around me. Little did I know that taking the initiative to interact with others could further extend the range of people I could spend my time with. I learned how to connect and make friends on a broader spectrum throughout the course of this program. The last day of the program turned out to be even worse than the first day simply because the program was over and I had to say goodbye to all the friends I made.
In addition to the amazing facilities and enjoyable course, this program molded me into a more responsible and independent person. I have to make sure I wake up on time, do my own laundry, and purchase my own daily necessities. I also have to make sure I get to class on time and complete certain assignments before due dates. Although some might think there is a negative connotation to this aspect ,I feel that it prepares me for what I have to deal with in both college and the future.
I have always stayed inside my own comfort zone for almost my entire life. I tend to hang out with only my close friends, go to places that I have usually been to, and even decline the opportunity to step up as a group leader. This program was a great way for me to open up and step outside my own comfort zone with the benefit of learning sustainability and experiencing college life. Sustainable Summer not only educated me on my field of interest but also allowed me to acquire the social skills I need in both college and life beyond.