With my love for beaches and obsession with tacos, I’m definitely a socal girl through and through. I like giving freeways their intended articles and cringe at the word “hella.” So, why did I make the 500 mile move up to Davis, two hours away from the closest beach and with only two ‘Taco Tuesday” options in town? I didn’t know how to ride a bicycle, so I can’t say that I drawn in by being in “The Bicycle Capital of the World.” I didn’t know that it was a small town, so I can’t say that I was attracted to its close-knit community. And I didn’t know that it was so environmentally friendly, so I can’t say that I was impressed by the organic beauty of all the nature around me. What I did know was that I had an upperclassman friend already attending, it was definitely far from home, and part of the distinguished UC system. I can’t say that I had the strongest reasons for attending, but when the time came, I submitted my SIR to UC Davis and committed to spending the next four years of my life in norcal.
I was unable to attend Decision Day, so my first encounter with Davis was for orientation. I remember driving to downtown Davis and stopping to walk onto campus. My first thought was, ‘wow, there are so many trees.’ Coming from a suburban area with dislocated palm trees evenly spaced between the intersections, I was amazed by the sheer abundance of greenery and how whimsical all of the homes seemed. I fell in love with the tranquility and vastness of the campus. It probably helped that it was about one hundred degrees outside and the shade provided was the only solace from the blistering heat, but I was awed. The heat never bothered me anyways. Day one of the program, nothing could have prepared me for the nearly five hundred students filled lecture hall. Honestly, I shied away from the large group interactions and was a little intimidated by the thought of trying to pave my own path from the rest. But, as we we broke off into smaller groups, I was given the sense that students at Davis were very accepting, encouraging, and laidback.
Two years later, I was back at orientation, not as an attendee, but as an orientation leader. I really hadn’t given thought to how much I appreciated coming to Davis, unil I saw the new, young faces and couldn’t help but feel so excited for their futures here at Davis. I was eager for them to find their spaces and realize that they were in a place which would foster their growth, both socially and academically. As a STEM major, it’s an unfortunate, but common, stereotype that students are cutthroat and competitive, however during my three years here, I have found so much support from both my peers and academic resources. It’s always been clear to me that my professors want me to succeed in their classes, and, I might be biased, but I think that I’ve met the nicest people I’ve ever known here at Davis. I have been able to immerse myself in a variety of extracurriculars, ranging from peer advising to tutoring to volunteering for the homeless. There are so many opportunities available to students, free of prerequisites and open to all who are interested, including health related internships, study abroad programs, and numerous clubs and organizations.
Attending UC Davis has been one of the best decisions that I’ve made, and I can say with confidence that I have no regrets. College is a time where it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the transitions of life, to higher education, to adulthood, and to taking more responsibility. Being able to grow into who I am at UC Davis, has allowed me the opportunity to pursue what I’m interested in while appreciating the small things in life. Surrounded by kindness of my peers and the simplicity of pausing to watch the beautiful sunset or taking a detour to amble through the weekly Farmer’s market, I have been able to take life at my own pace and in that way, succeed. The beaches of socal will forever be near and dear to me, but Davis has shown me the quaint beauty of norcal.
BASC Peer Advisor
Third Year: Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major w/Spanish minor