Each month, the Environmental Sciences Academic Program highlights a current student who represent the diverse and involved student population within the program. This month, April, the spotlight focuses on, Sarah Yim.
Name: Sarah Yim
Focal Area: Agroecology
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
1. What lead you to select Environmental Sciences at NC State?
Ironically, it was when I realized I couldn’t be a veterinarian. Watching documentaries such as Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and Earth all played a huge influence in my “transition” to environmental science. For me, protecting their homes was the best preventive way to stop the decline of their population and health. At the same time, those same documentaries made me realized how small I was compared to the rest of the world, and yet, my actions connected to events around the world. Environmental Science attempts to understand the web of connections in which everything connects to everything. It’s a daunting task, but also quite exciting.
2. What is your favorite aspect about the Environmental Science program?
It is both my favorite and least favorite. The sheer amount of options you can pursue is frightening, but it allowed me to explore. Being able to explore within my major is not something many programs can claim. It pushed me to explore not just subjects, but myself and what I wanted in life.
3. What has been your favorite course at NC State?
STS323 : World Population and Food Prospects. As cliché as it is to say, it was an eye-opening experience.
4. How did you select your focal area?
It was a combination of STS323, the agroecology farm, and the Ecovillage (a living and learning community). Oddly enough, I went from saving habitats for animals to food production for humans. To me it was the question “how can anyone care about the environment, if they’re solely worried about today?” The two shouldn’t be conflicting; it shouldn’t be a forced decision to pick between what is good today verses tomorrow. Agroecology focuses on food systems that incorporate the community and the health of the environment at the same time.
5. What is something you wish someone had told you when you were a freshman?
Breathe and focus (aka chill out). I was constantly worried about my future and my class. I lost focus about my purpose in college: to explore and learn about the world and myself. College is an open-ended question, answer it however you like to.
6. What is your favorite thing to do outside of the classroom?
I love to cook! It’s a great way for me to learn about the food and to how I can creatively use it in a dish. Cooking was also my way to meet new people and socialize with my friends.