People always say I am a good student, but am I?
Before last spring quarter, I might say “Yes, I am.” I always got good grades in school. At the same time, I took part in many competitions and got prizes. As an international student, when I started to apply for colleges, I suffered a lot of pain and spared no effort to pull up my scores in TOEFL and SAT. After taking classes and practicing day after day, I advanced confidently in the direction of my dream and endeavored to get a better life. Expectedly, I met with success in both exams and was even enrolled in my dream school. I thought I was a successful student until I took WLD 57 last spring quarter. This class dramatically changed my opinion about our environment and motivated me to explore the severe problem of our environment. I realized I was not a responsible person for the society because I did not care about our environment at all.
At the beginning of the quarter, everything went smoothly. Professor assigned usual and unsurprising academic writing assignments to me, as what I got touch with and was familiar with before. However, for the very last assignment during the quarter, she asked us to find a piece of advertisement online and analyze it using the common techniques of advertisement mentioned in the workbook. I started to search advertisement on the internet and a little picture which looked like a lung and located at the right corner came to my sight and aroused my curiosity.
After searching on the internet, I knew that the “Lungs” was a piece of public service advertisement generated by the World Wildlife Fund, the largest worldwide nonprofit environmental organization. When I first looked at the advertisement, I easily told that the predominant color was green, which is generally regarded as the symbol of nature and health as well as vigor and vitality. At the same time, the missing part on the bottom right side also caught my attention. Unlike green, brown is considered as a lifeless color, which represented the land that was entirely covered by dirt because of deforestation. “Before it’s too late” was a short phrase in the bottom right corner of the advertisement. Although it was simple, without redundant and complicated words, it conveyed easily understanding yet powerful messages to me.
To my surprise, deforestation has already become a severe problem all over the world. According to the information online, more than 80 percent of the Earth’s natural forests have been destroyed. It reminded me of the importance that the forests around the world keep the earth healthy as my lung keep me healthy. After the poignant visual impact, I rethought what I did to the environment before and realized that I had not really concerned about serious environmental problems or contributed to the world at all. Serving as a call to action, it also gave us the fear that if we don’t act, what would happen is that we would eventually kill ourselves.
Realizing the grievous disadvantages deforestation brought, I raised awareness for the significance of environmental protection, which was the need of the hour, and took actions to make useful and beneficial contributions to stop deforestation rather than only pay lip service. I got access to the WWF official website listed at the bottom of the advertisement and donated money to the organization to support the future protection. At the same time, I sought every environmental protection event on Facebook as well as in the community service resource center at UC Davis. I took part in Aggie weekend of service last quarter and went to the Forestry and Fire Protection for native plant nursery event. At the nursery, we did a variety of tasks including: propagating, potting up, seeding, weeding, trimming, organizing, watering, and otherwise caring for native plants that would be used on habitat improvement projects. I also started to be a volunteer for central park gardens in Davis, which hold biweekly gardening sessions related to garden management and maintenance. So far, I have already completed four sessions and signed up for all the sessions during next quarter. After I appealed to my friends for this community service, they were willing to go with me and ready to contribute their share to the development of the better environment.
Eventually, through the process of advertisement analysis, I realized that I never cared about our environment before. As a college student, success is more than good grades. We should be responsible for the whole society. The severe environmental problem have already let us come to realize the truth and all the mistakes we made. As a result, what we have do now is to come up with effective solutions together to make the world we live in better, with unshrinkable responsibility.