More than technical skills, more than being able to "talk" design, more than being able to rattle off design's most important advancements, and even more than being able to define a plethora of design-related terms, you must first be inspired.
Look, there's a reason you're enrolled in the College of Design. You wouldn't spend your money on an education you didn't believe in. Granted, you might now regret that exact decision, but as underwhelming as the curriculum may be, you're still going to [hopefully] work in the design field.
And unless you're inspired, all of your other marketable skills will fall by the wayside.
Ever since Al Gore invented the Internet, designers have been finding it increasingly easier to find inspiration for their work. In fact, the query "design inspiration" yields nearly 19 million results on Google (which translates roughly to 2.3 million "o"s in Google's page count). And while searching the web to find inspiration is all well and good, you can't discredit the deep emotional connection you might make with something completely unrelated to design.
Read a book, go see a movie, take a walk in the park, make dinner using an actual cookbook, take some photographs, listen to some new music, wake up, get off your ass and play a game of Scattergories with your roommates.
If you are going to get your inspiration exclusively from design related materials such as blogs, design magazines, or design related videos, just be sure not to follow trends too closely. It can be a dangerous move. Remember, it's not where you take it from, it's where you take it to.
Here's the thing though, if you're passionate about the environment, let that influence the type of design you do. If you're passionate about the ethical treatment of animals, or gun laws, or fair trade policies, or folding laundry, or playing solitaire, Fox News, or whatever. Let that fuel your creative fire.
If you're not inspired by the work you're doing, nobody else will be either. And if your audience isn't inspired, then quite simply your message has failed.