Summary Synthesis: The Final Shebang

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And also the most nostalgic. As I reflect on my last three years at Plymouth State and how they’re coming to a close in just one week, I can confidently say that I’m not dreading the process of paying back my loans. Why? Because I received a worthwhile and meaningful education as an Interdisciplinary Studies major. I drew from the fields of Environmental Science, Ecology and Adventure Education, which gave me the tools I need to teach about the environment outdoors, informally, and experientially. I couldn’t be happier with the classes I’ve taken and the knowledge I’ve gained.

For my last semester at PSU, to cultivate these disciplines into a succinct project, I decided to blog about living in a tipi. I thought it was a great way to practice what I had

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Tipi on a snowy day. CCBY Kate Burgess

been preaching, walk the talk, and find ways to informally educate the public about attainable alternative living solutions. More than anything, the experience living outdoors coupled with the great conversations I had with folks who visited or were interested, really solidified that I was in the right program, and that this is what I should be doing with my life. It was constantly inspiring to hear from others about their stories and learnings, and I’m grateful for their contributions to my education.

For my research article, I chose to make it an extension of my project. I wrote about the role of Millennials in the sustainable living movement, what a sustainable life really looked like, and what the barriers were to achieving it. Through my research, I wasn’t surprised by any of my findings, but it was instead the experience of writing such a long paper that made me feel ready to continue my education in graduate school.

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Millennials who are committed to a sustainable future. CCBY Kate Burgess

Together, having one project that emphasized research and second-hand experience, and the other promoting first-hand applications of my studies, really brought my education full circle. This semester really helped me nail down what it is I want to focus on within my fields of study, and I look forward to continuing my education at graduate school. Without the capstone, my degree would be a bunch of loose ends, and now, after this semester, they’re tied beautifully in a bow.

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