First Year Experience

Eagles Read


2021-2022 Book Selection

For the Class of 2025, the Eagles Read book selected by First Year Experience & Retention Programs is Give a Sh*t: Do Good. Live Better. Save the Planet. by Ashlee Piper.

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The Eagles Read Scholarship Winner Is...


Trinity Flynn is a first-year student at FGCU majoring in Psychology and contemplating a double major in English. Her love of academics has led her to be placed on the President’s List in the Fall 2021 semester, and she hopes to continue this diligence in the Spring. She is originally from the New England region and enjoys visiting there frequently. Her favorite pastimes include traveling, baking, drawing, and attending classes. Trinity was a participant in thhe Go Global FYIxFYE program in August 2021 and also was a student in The University Transition. We are proud to have Trinity as the first recipient of the Eagle Read Scholarship and her winning essy can be read below. 

It is difficult to refute the benefits of adjusting one’s personal lifestyle choices to become more environmentally responsible and sustainable; however, the argument for these habitual changes is one that can be perceived as more of a personal attack rather than a genuine call to action. In reality, the concerns regarding global warming are indeed valid and deserving of reformative and preventative measures. Yet despite this fact, it is the very urgency with which this message is spread that strikes many Americans with reproach. The author of Give a Sh*t, Ashlee Piper, realizes the importance of addressing her audience without judgment. In order to achieve nationwide alliance across America in this endeavor, individuals must first feel like they are a part of something constructive and achievable, rather than feeling condescended to and shamed for their ungodly electricity use. The eco-lifestyle journalist displays her understanding of this necessary component to communication through her non-inflammatory and informative book. A very influential source of inaction among individuals is the widespread belief that one person alone can not make a significant difference, especially when it comes to a concept as large-scale as that of global climate. While the human actions of one may be mere on their own in regards to the production of greenhouse gas emissions, a nation of like individuals undoubtedly adds up. This is another reason why Ashlee Piper’s promotion of a shift in personal lifestyle choices is so important. Offering simple, adaptable, yet impactful lifestyle changes to substantial amounts of readers nullifies some of the daunting aspects of reducing disastrous effects unto our Earth. She highlights the importance of unity when facing the challenge of encouraging others to engage in healthier living, something that is vital to the longevity of not just ourselves, but also our planet. The misuse of our planet is a problem that will only advance and without people like her, it will do so unopposed. Combining her effective and conversational approach to the issues of sustainability with her appeal to the individual, she concocts a strategy that makes being environmentally responsible simple, achievable, and easily spread. Ashlee’s book is certainly eye-opening, especially when living in a world where people are divided on the matter of rectifying, or even just managing, climate change. As surely as individuals tout the importance of sustainability and the reduction of using fossil fuels, others state that climate change is a myth. On top of all of this division, there is the question of just how one would go about doing any better. It is a widely held sentiment that only large processors using egregious amounts of fossil fuels can cut back on their emissions to make a difference; however, after delving into Ashlee Piper’s book, I have gained another perspective. I now consider the possibility that there could be a substantial improvement in our ecosystem if individuals make sustainable lifestyle adjustments. This is a concept I discuss with my family, friends, and loved ones, as I believe it is important to spread. Additionally, Ashlee’s non-judgemental approach to others is one that everyone can learn from and adopt to make managing climate change a call to action. Give a Sh*t allows the reader to truly believe that they can, indeed, “do good, live better, and save the planet” (Piper).