Wednesday, 4 May 2016


After what felt like 3 very long years, I am finished my undergraduate degree! My time at school has been filled with volunteering, activism, work and a whole lot of learning...most of which I could attribute to outside of the classroom. I learned the most from the activities and work I did with the University Farmers Market, PGPIRG and working with Meal Exchange that will apply to my life outside of school. The fancy piece of paper that I will be paying off for the foreseeable future may not be what I anticipated going into University but the experiences I gained are invaluable and I don't regret for a minute returning to school. For me it was a time of self-discovery that allowed me to explore my interests and build skills. Everyone has a different experience at the end of the day but for me it was the right time and place to continue on this life long learning adventure. Go to school, don't go to school and you can still learn to be a better person, citizen and neighbour to those around you.

Having fast-tracked through a 4-year degree in 3 years time while working multiple jobs and being really involved, I am exhausted. What are you going to do with an Environmental studies degree was the biggest question I asked myself this year. But without missing a beat I packed up my worldly processions, (having given away most of them) and moved down to Vancouver Island. I am relocating to the Nanaimo/Parksville area to work on an organic farm for the summer. After going from a fast pace environment in Toronto, to a busy bee in Prince George I will now be moving at a slower pace in the country side. This presents both challenges and opportunities for me to explore the kind of lifestyle I want to lead and ultimately discover what will allow me to live simply. This area boasts lots of fresh, organic produce, tons of farmers markets, ocean access and a more southern climate. All of these things make me feel like this is the place for me, for the next little while at least.

This transitional time has also been very disruptive to routine and when you travel you are forced to explore communities to find local, sustainable options again. Leaving my comfort zone in Prince George was at first a welcome idea but I already miss knowing where the fair trade coffee is everyday. I also bought my first car, begrudgingly, to move with and drove more in a week than I have in my entire life. I am on a month long vacation and off to Europe to celebrate in the least environmentally way possible by taking a cruise. I will spend the rest of the summer working off my carbon emissions and negating the impact of this month's movement.

These changes will hopefully turn out for the better but only time will tell what is next on this journey for me, work, grad school, life? For now I will continue eating locally, reducing my impact and enjoying life.

Lots of Love,

Melanie XX

"You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your tickets to change the world."  -Tom Brokaw