Program: Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Scholars Click Here For More Information
My name is Emily Evans, and I’m a 2nd year in the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Scholars program here at OSU.
When I first signed up to be a Scholar, I had no idea what I was getting myself into; I just wanted to surround myself with students who loved nature and knew how to recycle. I knew I’d be challenged intellectually, make good friends, and have lots of fun…but I never expected that it would totally change my life. (I know that sounds cheesy, but hear me out!)
At the very beginning of freshman year, I applied to join the ENR Scholars Leadership Council (LC). This group helps plan events, service opportunities, and outdoor adventure trips for ENR scholars. Even though I’d led clubs in high school, we hadn’t been able to do very much. The LC, however, gave me a real opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my peers. I loved it immediately!
Over the past year, I’ve grown from a regular LC member to become the leadership council president—and now I’ve actually got a job with Scholars developing our programs and running events. It’s been a truly long journey, especially because along the way, I realized that I’d been suffering from crippling social anxiety since the beginning of college. Leading people is hard enough, but it’s even harder when you’re afraid to even talk to them! Still, once I realized why I was always so nervous around people, the ENR program gave me a safe and inspiring place to work past it.
Now I’m in the second semester of my sophomore year and I feel like I’m not just surviving—I’m thriving. After working closely with my mentor Esther (our awesome ENR coordinator), I’ve grown into a capable and confident leader. I know how to organize events and run meetings—but what’s more, I’ve discovered that leadership development is one of my true passions. Despite my anxiety, I really do love people! Now I want to give back and help students work through their own challenges, too. If each student finds something they really love, I know they can go on to change the world. It might sound cliché, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
In the end, ENR Scholars gave me the opportunity to challenge myself mentally and physically, forge strong friendships, and ultimately grow as a human being. It’s been a truly transformative experience and I’m so grateful to be part of the program!