Find Your Tribe: Community is Key

Some of you may or may not realize, but this is my 18th reflection written for the Sustainability LLC class. Now that’s a lot of reflecting over my past 3 years of major sustainability-themed events/learning that has happened in my time at Mason thus far. But recently, I have been considering more so what sustainability is in the broader scheme of things. How does it come to be? What are the best methods in which it can be attained? Because throughout my 3 years of taking the LLC class along with other environmentally themed classes, you kinda get the gist of how humans are destroying a lot of the planet’s resources, health, and well-being. But now I’d rather think of solutions and hope rather than the negativity that surrounds the field of environmental work.

Which brings me to the impact that the Sustainability LLC has brought me. I think in a lot of ways, we are part of that solution. When you live in a community that has so much passion towards helping the planet and the exchange of knowledge in how to do so is frequent, one can’t help but start to engrain these ideas into your mind and soon implement them into your life. Humans are such social beings, and community based learning is the fastest and most effective way to learn and adopt lifestyle changes. I found a home within the Sustainability LLC my freshmen year and coming from a school that didn’t have that kind of community concerned about the environment, it’s completely refreshing to find my tribe through the LLC.

By having a community like the LLC, I have become so much more aware of how I can make a greater impact on campus. This is through the semester-long projects, the guest speakers, and the service trips that we have taken. I have become knowledgeable about so many entities that incorporate sustainability on campus and in the NOVA/DC region. While I already have stretched my efforts thin in what I can personally be involved in through sustainability on campus, I enjoy telling others how they can simply reduce their impact or get involved on campus. I often wonder what people are really doing in their daily lives to make a difference. You know the cheesy saying “Be the change you wish to see in the world”? Well how many people can really say that they are contributing to that goal each day or each week? I think the members of the Sustainability LLC are those change-makers by educating themselves on these issues and taking what they know into the broader community. And knowing that your tribe has your back, supports your goals, or even joins you in creating that change, allows you the confidence to move forward and thrive.

So I thank all the Sustainability LLC members, past, present, and future for the inspiration they have given me through their passion, the knowledge they have bestowed me, and the wonderful memories we have spent together on and off Piedmont 2nd. We are/can be the change-makers of this campus and beyond. Go out and make a difference together.



  1. rogerwleblanc · May 2, 2016

    Emily, thanks so much for your lovely post. You are absolutely right that the connections we all create in the LLC are a big first step to the solution. Thanks for making the LLC what is is by being so engaged and for your service as the RA this year.


  2. andrewwingfield · May 5, 2016

    Emily, what a fantastic ‘parting shot’ as you conclude your three year sojourn with the Sustainability LLC. It has been a great pleasure and inspiration for me to see you grow into the strong and eloquent sustainability leader that you have become. Thank you for all of your contributions to making this LLC the special community that it is.


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