Deciding where you’re going to be for the next four years can be associated with a slew of mixed emotions; it can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Personally, my experience here at UC Davis has proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. When I first visited UC Davis, I was intimidated by the vastness of the campus and the abundance of bikes at every corner. However, as I near the end of my third year, I’ve come to realize that this charming town is a lot more small and close-knit than I initially thought it to be.
One of the reasons I chose to attend UC Davis was due to its reputation for research, particularly in the biological sciences; I was interested in the possibility of being able to participate in cutting-edge research. Another reason I decided on UC Davis was its proximity to my home. My parents wanted me to be close to home, so I could go back and visit on the weekends if I needed to or if I wanted a fix of my mom’s home-cooking. To be quite frank, however, I didn’t have many expectations. As I’ve spent more time here, I found myself coming up with more and more reasons as to why my decision was certainly the right one.
My first year here mostly consisted of me settling into a new town with new people, away from my parents and friends. I immediately realized how friendly of a town Davis is. As I would go on runs or bike rides around the Arboretum, the people I’d pass by would greet me with a warm smile or greeting, a stark contrast from the constant avoidance of eye contact I was faced from back home.
Near the middle of my first year, I also decided to apply to be an Orientation Leader. I wanted to welcome new students and leave an impact as one of their first contacts as part of the Aggie family. I’d like to think that this was the gateway of my increased involvement on campus. I gained valuable experience from being an orientation leader, from speaking in front of an audience of 500 people to building relationships with different types of people from all over the place. Most importantly, it made me more outgoing and gave me the confidence in myself to branch out and take on new challenges. I became a chemistry tutor at the Student Academic Success Center (SASC). I decided to start a club by the end of my freshman year. I applied to this job as a peer adviser for the College of Biological Sciences. I even came back for a second summer as a returning Orientation Leader. Now, I participate in cutting-edge research in a chemistry lab that I so wanted to do as a high school senior.
I owe it all to UC Davis for giving me an abundance of opportunities to learn more about myself and accomplish deeds that I never thought I would do coming out from high school. I can proudly say that I’ve found a new home here. Your time at UC Davis, and college in general, is truly an opportunity for you to discover your potential. Go Ags!
3rd Year, Pharmaceutical Chemistry ’17
Peer Adviser, Biology Academic Success Center