Posted in Sustainable Living

Changing Our Small Piece of the World

As most of you know, I love writing. I find it to not only be relaxing, but also a wonderful tool to allow my thought processes to develop. As most of you also know, my last year of college is upon me. I’m finishing up my degree in Agricultural Communication. As I look to the future,  I want to transition this blog into a more professional platform that highlights both my writing and my career path.

As I’ve gone throughout my time in college, many of my Agriculture and Science classes have focused on the mission to feed the world in a sustainable way. There is a push to eliminate hunger, fight obesity, and mitigate the environmental footprint, because every human being has the right to a healthy and nutritious diet, and our children have the right to enjoy our planet as we have.

Throughout my time studying, my passion for sustainable production has grown. I feel strongly about the need for our food system to be environmentally responsible while also eliminating the inequalities that exist in the system as it is today.

The Agriculture industry has many tasks ahead, but I know that many of those changes are wrapped up in headache-inducing government policies and economic systems that leave most of us feeling absolutely bewildered in what should be done to solve these problems.

But, here’s the deal–most of us aren’t producers. The majority of people in this world are CONSUMING the goods, so what I would like to focus on, is how WE can be responsible consumers, to play our role in mitigating climate change and eliminating food disparities.

My motto has always been, “It doesn’t matter if no one else cares about what I do. If I know that I’m changing my little piece of the world, I find my work rewarding.” And this is what I’m going to use as the motto for this blog going forward. I want to focus on small changes that each of us can make in our every day lives to become more sustainable consumers in our small piece of the world.

I know that in our society, almost everything is attainable. We don’t need to be responsible with our goods, because we’re all rich enough to afford to be wasteful. However, I don’t think this means we SHOULD be.

I’d like to invite you to continue reading my blog as I discover new ways to be environmentally and economically tactful. My mission is to be a good steward of both my money and resources, in my small corner of the world, and I’d love for you to join.

I’m a college student. My footprint on the world is already very small. But, I think I can do better. And that’s the mindset I’m inviting you to take on.

 

 

Posted in Travel

To Everyone Who Took a Chance On Me

Sometimes I like to take a step back and think about where I am today. It’s not like my life is anything spectacular or anything, but I’m really happy with where I am today. Admittedly, however, I don’t feel like it’s because of anything I have ever done. I sometimes just stop in amazement, bewildered at why XX hired me or why XX gave me a leadership position, and I just have to stop and say “thank you” to everyone who ever gave me a chance, when I didn’t really deserve it.

During my first internship I ever had, I had just graduated high school. But, someone took a chance and hired me. I didn’t know anything about their business and I never even had a formal interview. But, they gave me the job and I learned a lot that summer. I learned what it meant to work full time, I learned how to interact with colleagues, and I learned that the best thing to do in a position is to just work hard and try your best.

Shortly after I began college, I sent my resume in for a Communications Internship. I was extremely underqualified, but my boss took a chance on me. She was willing to be patient and teach me what I needed to know and I learned so much about the Communications field and about the workings of a University Department during this time. It didn’t stop here. This woman worked on my personal development and invested in my future and my career. I gained a strong mentor and friend.

For some reason, Purdue University decided to place me in the Honor’s College, again, something I don’t feel like I deserved. However, interacting with bright and dedicated students during my college career has inspired my own learning. I’ve also gotten to interact with a variety of faculty and have gotten the chance to do some undergraduate research.  My professors have no reason to give up their time for me, to work on a small undergraduate project, but they do.

Last summer, I again just reached out and sent in my resume for a position and company that I was unfamiliar with. This was a challenging internship, but I learned a lot about what it meant to work for a Communications firm and how to balance work and a social life. I don’t feel like I deserved the position, but I gained some valuable knowledge through this time.

This past semester, I think I put my whole family through the ringer. I studied abroad for six months, and they let me. But, I gained a ton of independence and confidence through this time. I was able to have some time to reflect on what my expectations for myself were, without the influence of others.

Now this summer, I have another internship. I came in with low availability (due to studying abroad) and as a young person in a field of experienced professors. Yet, they decided to give me a shot. They’re allowing me to manage the communications for the Center, and I’m learning how to manage my own time and tasks, while also taking some creative risks. They treat me with respect and I don’t feel like I deserve it.

This is not a complete list, but it just touches the tip of the gratitude I must express to all those who gave me opportunities I didn’t deserve. It’s helped me grow and gain invaluable experience.

What I can take away from this, is that, I think we’ll always come in to new ventures feeling under-qualified and overwhelmed. We will feel like our bosses are crazy for giving us a position and we’ll work hard to prove we want it. And at the end of the day, we will feel grateful for having a chance.

Posted in Travel

Thank You

I figured that I should say a proper “Thank You” to all of those who followed my blog and kept up with me during my travels. As you know, I’m home safe and sound now (and have been for almost 4 weeks now—wow, where does the time go?)

Anyways, I wanted to give those of you who care, an update on what I’m doing this summer, and what I’m going to be doing with the blog.

Well, I got home on June 13th, safe and sound, and spent a week at home in good, ole’ Princeville, Illinois. It was so nice to be able to catch up with family and friends and get back to my ‘Merica roots.

After a whirlwind week of unpacking, resettling, and repacking, I moved back to West Lafayette, Indiana for the summer. I started my summer internship there on June 20th. So far, I LOVE it! I’m working for the Center of Commercial Agriculture, a division of Purdue Extension, and I’m doing Communications work. I’m doing some filming of events and faculty research along with some website and social media management. I have a lot of independence and flexibility, which I really love, and it’s been a great experience so far.

Also, I’m still writing for The Odyssey and you can check out my most recent post here. For those unfamiliar with The Odyssey, it is a social content platform where millennial writers can share ideas and opinions on just about anything! I love this opportunity to get to share some of my creative side, and I write in a variety of different genres. If you want to, you can give me a follow on my author profile (just beware, I do indeed write about random things 200% of the time).

In my spare time aside from work this summer, I’m either at the gym, figuring out my undergrad research, writing random things, or talking about current events (Thanks to TheSkimm–which you should subscribe to if you’re interested in the best aggregated news source ever). So basically, I’m still me.

So back to the blog–I haven’t exactly figured out what I want to do with it. I definitely will be using it to promote some projects I’m working on, and I think I will also be splitting it up into a couple of different categories-so stay tuned for those future developments.

In the meantime, thank you for the prayers, thoughts, and well-wishes that you extended to me during my travels, and thank you for your continued support of my well-being.

Love, Gratitude, & Prayers to All,

Mikaela