It’s finally here. The end times are upon us….
I’m referring to, of course, the end of summer break. Davidson classes resume this Monday and I can say with confidence that most returning students are feeling either excitement, dread, or a combination of both. So with breakfast at Commons and parties at Club Libs upon us, it feels like a good time to reflect on this summer and all that’s happened.
It’s hard to believe that three months ago (yep, May 23rd was three months ago), I moved in with nine other students to begin a 2-month long summer internship. During those months, we laughed, we played, we worked…and we comforted each other when the fire alarms went off. The ten of us learned how to deal with conflict, encouraged one another to compost all of our food waste, and built some stellar picnic tables for future Susty-Coop dwellers to use. All in all, I can definitely say that this was a summer I will remember and look back on fondly.
However, the past few weeks have been… sobering. Coming back to a house that doesn’t compost a scrap of food has made me feel out of place. It feels as if I’m doing something wrong, as if I’m some kind of traitor against environmentalists everywhere. A recent family trip to Chicago and St. Louis has made me feel equally discouraged, if not worse. Tell me that you wouldn’t feel bad going to a Chinese buffet and eating suspect hotel-breakfast eggs after a summer of eating nothing but locally grown zucchini and farmer’s market eggs. In the end, I felt a bit hopeless. Mix this with extreme flooding, out of control wildfires, and some gloomy weather and you’ve got a recipe for some environmentalist sadness.
So now what? Well, let’s do something about it. Let’s try and get our parent’s to start composting. Let’s try and share about what we’ve learned this summer with our friends back at Davidson or those that we make while abroad (myself included). I know that some of us are in prime position to do so as hall councilors for the upcoming freshmen. Most importantly, let’s keep an open mind about how we can live sustainably and find a solution for the larger problems.
So thank you, Davidson, for giving me a chance to live like I want to. Thanks for giving me a summer where I could make connections, find new friends, and learn more about myself. Stay SUSTY, and I’ll see you in the spring.