Building a sense of meaningful community

Steps you can take to lessen eco-anxiety and engage in fruitful debates about sustainability.

When you are willing to take more care about your environment, you end up quickly understanding that « environment » is covering a large definition and fields. We all have several environments around us. Our immediate living environment, our natural, urban, emotional, working… environments. And they all need one thing: they need care. They need you to identify the positive impact you can have and how more sustainable all this can be. So, it’s not only about following guidelines from society. It’s important of course but what matters is to question things, to be able to stay creative and find options to implement more sustainability in your students lifestyle and, why not, inspire others.

During the time of your study, you’ll interact with many other international and local students. It’s up to you, to your motivation in taking action, in initiating discussions and exploring solutions to build a sense of community with purpose. Global warming is a very hot topic. It goes with very passionate opinions and/or a big amount of anxiety. Since 2017, climate change anxiety is acknowledged in the Finnish society (read here) and Aalto University has conducted a few researches around the topic. One way to approach this is the psychology of course, and another way is to act, reinforce your creativity, your self-empowerment and this can go with building a sense of meaningful community during your studies in Tampere.

If we can list a few steps you can take to lessen eco-anxiety, we would say:
you are probably very well informed, following news and social channels… it’s good to be informed but too much info without actions leads to anxiety… try taking one entire day away from all screens and feel the flavour of simple life around you… not everything is collapsing you know…
save time for yourself, real time… meaning not time feeling guilty to watch a movie because you’re procrastinating… but empty time, maybe during your off-screen day, with fresh mind to think about your goals and motivation… and to acknowledge the negativity and stress you’re carrying on maybe for no reason…
negativity can come from so many sources… by paying attention to your stress level, exhaustion, dark ideas, unjustified criticism and so on, you can more easily recycle this draining energy and convert it into a time to nap, create, relax, take deep breath in the forest or cycling all around
meet peers face to face, organize topic discussions about sustainable lifestyles and learn more about true communication which is basically allowing all participants to express themselves, fear included, with the maximum respect
focus on daily sustainable and impact changes… all the rivers are going to the ocean’s so yes, politics is indispensable for a real change, but your actions matter and the positive impact of one person can be amazing
focus on cooperation vs competition… it’s not so easy, even in Finland where cooperation is rooted in the culture, that’s why it’s super interesting to explore different way to define success and performance related to sustainable impact.

Further resources:
Link to the Club’s Resources section.