Why UC Davis?

By the time I was applying for colleges, I already knew that UC Davis was my top choice. People are often surprised to hear that the school I had my heart set on from the beginning was one hidden away in a small town surrounded by a wide expanse of farm land. I was not interested in agriculture and contrary to many young children, I never even had a phase where I wanted to be a veterinarian. So why was I interested in the school that is internationally acclaimed for exactly those two areas? Admittedly, I made my decision even before I did my research on the academic programs of the school. For me, it seemed like UC Davis was able to create an environment where students seemed more happy than stressed and ultimately that positive atmosphere was what attracted me to the school. Fortunately, though, UC Davis also happens to be a leading institution in the biological sciences.

I first visited UC Davis in the middle of high school because my parents thought it was an appropriate time to start visiting potential colleges and UC Davis is a relatively short 2-hour drive from home. Walking around campus, I immediately noticed the student involvement in nearly every aspect of the school. All of the campus food places and centers were staffed by students. Even those giant red buses were driven by students, to my initial hesitation. This was important to me because I felt that students were very integrated into campus life and a part of the school itself. Everyone on campus and downtown was surprisingly friendly-and in a genuine way. There was a sense of community where everyone was more than willing to interact and support each other. Most importantly, I felt at ease in Davis.

Decision Day for me was simply to learn more about the College of Biological Sciences. In hindsight, the academic support, resources, and programs should have been the first thing I considered before I signed my Statement of Intent to Register, but I already had a general idea of the school’s science emphasis. I knew UC Davis was a top-notch research university that would offer endless opportunities to get involved in research and more. However, what really caught my attention as something that stood out from other schools was again, the student involvement and peer support. Whether it was the student-run clinics, or the peer advisers, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Davis community.

UC Davis turned out to be the perfect choice for both myself and for my parents. I wanted a school that I could identify with, become a part of, and feel at home in. My parents wanted a school that was not too far from home, and more importantly a school in a safe area. Although an extremely safe environment was not one of the first things I was looking for in a school (it should have been), I am now very grateful for that sense of security, especially since I frequently bike home from school very late at night. Mixing all those priorities together, UC Davis turned out to be the best of both worlds.

For many insignificant life decisions, I find myself overthinking every possible benefit or consequence. Even at the quaint downtown ice cream shop, The Good Scoop, I can enter a mini crisis deciding between the ever reliable geranium flavor or going with one of the changing daily flavors instead. And yet, when it came to choosing the school I would call home for 4 years-arguably a more important decision than choosing ice cream-I did not hesitate to choose UC Davis because of the immediate comfort and homeliness that I felt as I walked around the Davis area for the first time. Three years later, I still have not regretted my decision.

Amanda Dao
BASC Peer Advisor
3rd year, Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major

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