A Meaning in Every Letter

By Cameron Jenkins

The end of my first year at Michigan State is oh so near. Even though I am buried in my studies preparing for final exams, I am taking time to reflect on my experiences. One of my favorite additions to my experience was joining the RISE community and adding the minor in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. I came into MSU not quite knowing exactly what my path was, but through intense career exploration, I am pleased to say that I now have a better idea. RISE has definitely contributed to that, and with the meaning behind the name, I decided to break it down to reflect on my experience.

Residential. When I joined RISE back in October, I referred to myself as a “transplant” because I didn’t live in Bailey Hall over in Brody Neighborhood. Even though I did not live with everyone else, I feel like I still have gotten a lot out of the residential aspect of the program, as I am only a short walk away from North Neighborhood. Besides Bailey Hall just being a place to sleep, it is also the hub of the RISE Program. One of the best things about this program is the fact that all the activities are right there in Bailey. In my case, I just have to walk a little and may have to change out of my pajamas. Ha!

Initiative. I love how empowering RISE is. You have the freedom to pick and choose what you want to involve yourself in. I took my own initiative and am a part of this blog team. I also love volunteering at the Bailey GREENhouse. There are many, many other teams of RISE students who have taken their own initiative and became a part of something bigger than themselves. RISE is very special as not only do you take environmental related courses, but you get to have a hands-on experience.

Study. Oh boy, have I done a lot of that. This year I had to learn how to study properly for college exams and quizzes. I basically did nothing in high school and got away with it. In college, though, it is a different game– you have to work for that 4.0. My studies are different in college because I can (most of the time) learn about stuff I am generally interested in. In my case, I am talking about my Food Science class or International Development and Sustainability class, not necessarily my Cells and Molecules class!

Environment. Although it’s the last letter, environment is the center of RISE values. I absolutely love being around people on my same mission. Even though we may have different majors, we all have the same minor and the passion for the betterment of Earth. If I ever need some inspiration, I can just listen to one of my peers talk about something environmental related and become inspired myself. This is my personally favorite part about RISE.

I am sad to see this school year come to a close but very excited for what the next one will bring. I treasure my association with RISE and truly feel as if it has added tons to my overall college experience. From the friends I’ve made to the knowledge I’ve gained, RISE has already made such a positive impact on me. Until next semester, friends!



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