Out of the various classes I took during my college career, SUST 401 was one of my favorite classes. I took it at a time after I had endured two dull semesters of accounting and classes on microsoft excel and access. At the time I felt bored and disappointed by my business major. I was looking to learn more about subjects that involved real world examples and further explored my interest in the environment. Sust 401 lived up to my hopes and allowed me to explore those topics.
Specifically, one of the most important concepts I learned about in this class is that sustainability involves more than just the environment. Instead, Sustainability is composed of three pillars: social, economic, and environment. This completely expanded my understanding of what it means to be truly sustainable. While protecting the environment is an important factor, it is also important to be socially and economically sustainable in order to create the best future for our planet. Additionally, I also liked our unit on agriculture. I had spent the previous summer volunteering on an organic blueberry farm where I discovered my passion for all things sustainable. Accordingly, this unit felt like a real-world example on account of my past experience.
Moreover, this class gave me a stronger understanding of the science involved in sustainability. Before this class, I did not know what concepts such as carbon sinks, biodiversity loss, or the nitrogen cycle. I found this information to be rather interesting because I had not taken any science classes since I had been high school. While I never enjoyed Physics or Chemistry, Biology was one of my favorite classes I took in high school. Many of the topics we covered reminded me of my biology class I took junior year of high school. This made the material enjoyable to study inside and outside the classroom.
Since 501 was very different from 401, I feel that 401 gave me a false understanding of what the sustainable program was. I thought most of the classes would center around facts. Instead, I found 501 to be very abstract and slightly confusing. While 501 challenged me and taught me a lot, I thought there was a disconnect between it and 401. I think the program would improve if there was more consistency between the curriculums for 401 and 501. Overall, however, I found 401 to be a great introduction to the field of sustainability.