Hello!! It’s Serena from AAEES. Throughout this semester, I’ve been really understanding the fact that good things really do take time. Whenever I see my plant’s cutting’s roots, I am surprised at how fast they’ve grown in the span of a couple weeks and I’m reminded of how growth can seem so slow if you don’t take a step back and reflect. Looking back to when I first joined AAEES as an ambassador my sophomore year, I can better appreciate the journey that it took for us to get to where we are now, and look forward to where the future generation will take it!


These are the roots of my purple Spiderwort plant!

The calm before the storm.

The semester started out with tentative dates and a sense of uncertainty as classes started fully online. Just like many other clubs, we were nervous about having less engagement this semester. Our first event was a simple general meeting on Zoom– the first of many zoom meetings, we would find. To our surprise, there were plenty of freshmen interested in learning about the breadth of sustainable careers, regardless of their major!

It’s all happening so fast!

From there, the semester seemed to fly by with an exciting new AAEES almost every week. We were definitely excited seeing new faces every week and getting more attendees. However, our main goal is to just show people the different opportunities there are in a career related to sustainability.

We listened to a VP of Engineering from a solar energy company. We heard from our own USC faculty about climate change policy or brewing beer. We made vegan mac and cheese! Different people came out to each event and allowed us to build a community on our slack. Even the fact that we were holding nearly weekly events was a huge improvement for our growing little club. Our previous president came to an event and told us how she was proud of how far we’ve come. On a week to week basis, it doesn’t seem like much, but sometimes we have to take a step back to see how far we’ve come!

AAEES x SIGC at our Serving You Solar Event with 8minute Solar!

Don’t forget where we all started!!

So the next time you’re propagating your plants, don’t spend every second checking its progress. There is good in taking a step back and seeing how far you’ve come (even if it’s getting out of bed for the first time this week). Growth isn’t linear and it definitely doesn’t happen immediately. I thought my elephant ear plant had died due to neglect, but I checked back on it after a week and saw a new leaf growing! So give it some time (maybe some sunshine and water). Then, celebrate however far you’ve been able to go! Oh and of course, if coming to AAEES and exploring sustainable careers is part of that journey, then be sure to join our newsletter and follow our instagram to growth along us!

My pothos cutting and newly revived elephant ear plant!
American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists

American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists

USC AAEES is a professional organization for all students interested in environmental and sustainable careers. The purpose and mission of AAEES is to bring professional resources and opportunities to USC students, as well as bring together and foster community between environmental engineers and scientists.