Summer has come to an end, so this will be my last blog post for Facilities Team Green. I have decided that this blog will be a reflection of my summer and what learned from it.
Towards the end of the spring semester, I was offered a summer internship with FTG. I was excited about the offer, but I struggled with my answer to the question every college student asks themselves before the summer: “to go home or to not go home?” I felt a little disappointed with the way my freshman year had played out, mostly being too hard on myself when it came to grades. To be honest, I had been considering transferring. Part of me wanted to retreat to the comfort of home, avoiding any thought of sophomore year and the challenges that may come. The other part of me wanted to stay in Rochester to learn more about the campus, city, and, ultimately, myself. While the second option seemed exciting, I was nervous about living on my own *like an actual adult*. I was torn but, after a giving it a lot of thought, I decided to stay.
My internship with FTG allowed me to learn more about sustainable initiatives at the University and within the Greater Rochester Area, such as reusable construction barriers and the Shred Fest event. My favorite Go Green article was “Riding to a Sustainable Future: University Sponsors Zagster Bike Share Program“. I have a love for cycling, so it was fun to try out the bike program and write an article about it. About halfway through the summer I attended a Waste Management event with Patricia Van Valkenburgh. We learned about some of the programs that the organization sponsors and even got free food! It was an interesting event, but I think the best part was being able to become better friends with my fellow intern.
So, where am I off to now?
I am beginning my sophomore year as the president of GreenSpace, the University’s first sustainability special interest floor. This is my first big leadership position on campus so I am a little nervous, but overall I would say that I am excited to take on the role. Our executive board hopes to increase the club’s community engagement and work with organizations, such as Facilities Team Green and EcoReps, to develop and improve sustainability initiatives on and off-campus.
If you did not know, I am also a member of the University’s Varsity Track & Field team. I was unable to compete for most of last year due to a stress fracture in my foot. I got cleared to run in May, so I devoted much of my free time this summer to improving my strength and flexibility. Hopefully, I will be able to compete with my teammates this year and help them beat our rival, Ithaca College, once and for all.
Deciding to stay in Rochester allowed me to grow and meet new people. Exploring the city was a lot of fun, but the most important part about this summer was that it made me fall in love with the University all over again. I would like to thank Sustainability Coordinator Amy Kadrie for her guidance and kindness and Patricia for being such an awesome coworker. A big thank you goes out to my parents and friends who encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and choose to spend a summer in Rochester. It was a great summer and I am sad to see it end, but I am also so excited to see where this next year takes me.
Written by Michaela Burrell, Class of 2020