I’m Patrick Cullinan, and I’m an Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability major specializing in Sustainability and Business.
When I was learning about the different learning communities offered by Ohio State, I was instantly drawn to SUSTAINS because it was a group of friendly individuals that were all interested in some aspect of sustainability. Being a part of this group is without a doubt the best thing I’ve done during my time on campus, and I’m so grateful to have joined such an amazing group of people in the SUSTAINS community.
An interesting note about SUSTAINS is that the people in the LC aren’t necessarily studying a subject that is directly related to sustainability. Engineering, business, and even astronomy and animation majors all help to represent the assortment of students within SUSTAINS. Because sustainability is an inherently holistic subject, having a variety of majors is an important element of the Learning Community because it allows for the opportunity to participate in valuable discussions with a diverse group of people and perspectives.
SUSTAINS offers countless events throughout the year that all have a focus of addressing some form of sustainability. Some of my favorite activities with SUSTAINS include touring Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research Center, removing trash and invasive plant species along the Olentangy river, and the professional development trips to taken to Chicago and Washington, D.C. These different events helped reinforce topics I had learned in class and allowed me to see the real-world impact of what I was studying.
While the programs and trips hosted by SUSTAINS are amazing, I believe that the most valuable element of SUSTAINS is its ability to make a campus as large as Ohio State’s become smaller and more manageable. Being an out-of-state student that only knew a single person in all of Columbus, the early move-in program at the beginning of the school year helped me feel more secure about my transition from high school to college, and the activities I participated in allowed me to connect with other students and staff before classes had begun. SUSTAINS is important to me because it helped me feel more comfortable on campus, and it provided me with a support group of students and staff that continue to encourage me throughout all of my undertakings.
SUSTAINS has had a major role in leading me to become the student and citizen that I am today, and my college experience would have been drastically different had I not joined this amazing group of kind, talented, and educated individuals.
While I support SUSTAINS specifically, I would encourage everyone to explore the different learning communities offered by Ohio State, and to apply to a group that speaks toward an interest in their own life.