I am fascinated by studying plants and animals. I am an Environmental Science major with an Ecoscience concentration and am especially interested in the biological components of the environment. A class about the interactions between wildlife and the environment is the perfect intersection of my interests; luckily, I am in such a class.
I am enrolled in the Honors section of ENWC201: Wildlife Conservation and Ecology. For the Honors extension, students have been conducting wildlife research in the woodlot on South Campus. I am very grateful that this class is a part of my major requirements, particularly because of its hands-on Honors section. My research group chose to study the effects of lures on attracting wildlife. We wanted to see which lures were most effective and which lures appealed to different species. The lures that we used in our research were “Obsession” by Calvin Klein, fatty acid tablets, and “Gusto” (mouse guts and skunk, ew!).
I’m the type of person who thinks way too much about things, whether that be about decisions I make or about media I watch or listen to. Funnily enough, both of those aspects of myself fit together perfectly, because the past two weeks I’ve had working on the Harrington Theatre Arts Company’s recent production of the show If/Then. If you weren’t able to catch it, the story of If/Then focuses on Elizabeth and two timelines branching out from a single decision: one where she chooses to go with her newfound friend Kate (who calls her Liz) and one where she chooses to go with an old college friend Lucas (who calls her Beth). That single decision has a huge effect on her life as well as the lives of her friends and acquaintances. People who may meet and fall in love in one may never meet at all in the other, all because of a single decision. I, like many people, also tend to think long and hard over the possibilities that are presented in life’s choices; there can be advantages and pitfalls to such overthinking, but there are of course ways that media such as If/Then explore how one can overcome all of those pitfalls.
You wake up to the annoyingly persistent buzz-buzz-buzz of your alarm clock. The sun has just begun to creep up over the horizon, starting its day just as you are beginning yours. Your bed is so warm, so cozy. It is almost painful to force yourself up and out of bed. Yet, you know you must because there are essays to write, projects to do, and notes to study. It is another morning, another day, and you find yourself just counting down the hours, the minutes, the seconds until you can crawl back into bed and get some much-needed rest before taking on the next day.
Throughout the semester, we can all find ourselves feeling this way, like we are in a constant cycle of work and worry. As Honors Students, taking many challenging classes, getting involved in exciting research opportunities, and participating in time-consuming extracurriculars can begin to make life feel overwhelming at times. The work may keep piling up, but the desire to accomplish that work keeps finding a way to remain out of reach. And yet, while I have found myself in this position a time or two this semester, I have also found a way to break out of this dangerous cycle, and hopefully you can too.
Being a college student in the age of Canvas modules, 11:59 pm deadlines, and digital coursework means we must live our lives on the computer. Unfortunately, there is no way around it. A certain amount of our time each day must be spent staring at a screen, even though the overwhelming advice is to lessen our daily screen time. To add to that, the allure of the phone screen is too strong. I always find myself hopping from my laptop to my phone to my iPad to my phone to my laptop to my phone to my… ok you get it. We all tend to do that. It’s so hard to pull ourselves away from super entertaining apps like Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube. I also don’t believe these kinds of apps should be vilified either. They provide us with incredible content, connect us with our friends no matter the distance, and give us a wealth of free information. And yet, a healthy balance remains difficult to achieve.
When I find myself in one of these technology binges for too long, the days blur together and I lose touch with the real world around me. The only thing I have found that relieves the cycle is spending time doing something a little more analog than digital. Recently, I have found a new thing to soothe that disconnected feeling I have on the computer all day. I’ve been rediscovering a nostalgic low-tech device from my childhood.
After passing through the official halfway point of the fall semester and start of a new month, it is all too easy to reflect on my recent experiences, in all aspects of college life.
There are many new beginnings happening in my life right now. I recently moved into my first apartment and adopted my own emotional support cat. Her name is Rugelach; she is two years old and extremely snuggly. I am living with two of my friends on the UD figure skating team and it is wonderful. We have decorated our common space together and have truly made our house into a home. I have been beginning to embrace adulthood, whether that means cooking and shopping for myself, cat parenting, deep cleaning, or paying bills. These new beginnings have been both scary and rewarding.