The incredible journey through my English class in my Freshman year of college was not quite what I had expected. Instead of doing all the normal, boring tasks which would be rather regular in High School English classes, there were many things which I found to be quite the opposite, and it was not just the assignments.
In the class, we were given two larger projects to complete for the quarter, a podcast, and a research paper of sorts. In both cases, we would be looking at things which interested us and then doing a miniature investigation of what we would be talking about. This would be different than what I had done before in my previous classes, as I had up until then only experienced high school classes.
While the first project turned out to be alright, I was not too particularly fond of what I had made. It was a podcast aimed at young individuals in college such as myself, talking about dining halls and their overall importance within the daily lives of the many resident college student who use them. I found that, while important, the dining halls were not all too interesting of a subject to investigate.
Therefore, instead of continuing my investigation on the subject, I decided to switch to a different topic which interested me for the second project coming up. Instead of looking at foods, I thought it would be more interesting to look at population densities, and their impact on the environment. While of course, many others would have found this to be even less interesting than the previous subject matter for investigation, it had been a question I had had for quite a while, and it would be the perfect opportunity to get my thoughts answered.
At first, the investigation began with a series of searches through the vastness of the internet, looking for hidden troves of the gold that was the information I was looking for. Especially after my visits to the Library turned out to be fruitless, I began looking increasingly intensively for scholarly articles. What I eventually found, was rather surprising. From another research paper done by the John Hopkins University, It was found that Population density had a rather negligible effect on how much people took the environment into consideration with their actions, in comparison to the effect from the overall amount of people.
This was the strangest thing, that I had in the end found that my research had in fact, proven my original ideas wrong. Never before had I gone into writing a paper, only to figure out that what I had been assuming the whole time would likely be false, which made the task of writing the research paper all that much more interesting. For the first time, I ended up writing about the lack of success with what I had intended, and began with elaborating what I did manage to find instead, and the experience alone for being able to do that was incredible.
In the place of finding that the population density affected the impact on the environment, I began looking at other factors which may have impacts themselves, such as different kinds of populations. I mostly focused on the highly academic region around our college looking at the many impacts it had.
To my surprise, I found that having a college in a location appeared to bring about many changes. Despite having a vast density of people, certain factors such as the amount of cars and power consumption didn’t appear to be quite as great. This is because the academic climate caused many things such as a quality public transportation system, and additions to the local power grid such as solar panels. Because of things like this, it became apparent that the type of social environment would also be highly relevant to the overall impact.
The end product of what I ended up making was far different than anything I would have imagined, walking into English class the first morning. I had written a research paper about how I had missed my original goal, rather than how I had worked towards it. In addition, I had finally found answers to some of my most burning questions that I have had for years.