I’m wrapping up my final semester as an undergraduate student, graduating with my Bachelor of Science in environmental science and minor in sustainability studies. I’ve compiled some of my greatest hits because the past three and a half years have been chock-full of enlightenment and enrichment. The University of New Mexico has been an exceptional place to grow up and blossom into my fullest self.
I moved to New Mexico from North Carolina to study at UNM without really knowing anyone or anything about Albuquerque, except that it was a beautiful place with lots of sunny days and clear, blue skies. Moving alone to a new state was really special because I got to make new friends and fall in love with a new place and all it offered. These past few years have granted me some of my most affirming and empowering experiences and memories.
Though I’ve always stood firm in my interests in climate and energy, I really didn’t know what I wanted to study when I came to school. I major-hopped until I landed on environmental science and didn’t add my minor in sustainability studies until a serendipitous encounter when an intro course flier in the biology building caught my eye sophomore year. Through these programs, I’ve developed a comprehensive, critical understanding of climate and the environment. I’m knowledgeable on these important issues and feel prepared to continue my work in the professional sphere.
Looking back on my time at UNM, I really see the value in not only pursuing higher education, but also living on campus your first year. I met my freshman year roommate online, like many do, came to know one of my best friends from the UNM Honors College freshman orientation and met so many people through campus organizations; with every new friend came a few more.
Living in Hokona Hall my freshman year of college was epic and, because it was just a short walk away, I spent countless nights studying and developing friendships at La Posada (back when it was a nearly 24/7 establishment).
Some of my favorite memories of college, such as taking a sunrise hot air balloon flight before class or studying complex water issues in the West, wouldn’t have happened if I had stayed in North Carolina. Though I never expected green chile to become a staple of my meals or to see dozens of hot air balloons in the sky on my drives to work, the Southwest and all of the uniquely New Mexican quirks have been absolutely lovely.
It would be remiss not to acknowledge my time at the Daily Lobo and its impact on me. I really encourage students, of any and all backgrounds and writing abilities, to get involved with the paper.
As a reporter, I created and worked on a project called “LOBO PRIDE,” a collection of features which sought to illustrate LGBTQ+ existence and resilience through students and faculty at the University. That body of published, widely-shared work was deeply meaningful to me and will likely always be some of my favorites I’ve written.
In the past few years, I made this wonderful place my home, and I feel so proud to be a Lobo. I am thankful for my final semester of college being in person — it meant a lot to me to engage with my peers, professors and environment in such a tangible way.
I want to continue doing my part to address the climate crisis and my education at UNM has prepared me for that. Whatever forms my work takes throughout my life, I welcome it and know that I’ll always have my experiences at UNM to fall back on.
Rebecca Hobart is a senior reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @rjhobart
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