8 Fun Things to Do in Spring Quarter

As soon as spring quarter starts, you can immediately tell that it is very different than winter quarter. Campus seems to be filled with twice as many people (and ducks and squirrels), the winter blues are gone, and everyone seems to be in a better mood. This fresh sense of excitement is peaked by all of the events that are happening around campus. But with so much going on, it can be easy to miss out on some of the fun events, so here’s a list of 8 fun things (1 for each week left in the quarter) you simply must do before the start of summer.

 

Week 3 (4/21): PICNIC DAY!

Image result for picnic day uc davis

Whether you’re living on or off campus, you won’t be able to miss all the picnic day activities. Just a few of the fun events are the parade, the Doxie Derby, the chemistry show, and Davis Dance Revolution. For a comprehensive list of ALL the many things you can do on picnic day, check out this link: https://picnicday.ucdavis.edu/calendar/ On this website, you can also download the picnic day app so you can stay up to date with all the goings-on.

Week 4 and 6 (4/23 & 5/7): Go to a campus concert

Image result for khalid concerts

This spring, we have three exciting musical artists coming to our very own UC Davis. On April 23rd, alt-J and Borns are coming to Freeborn Hall to perform and on May 7th, Khalid will be stopping by the UC Davis ARC Pavilion on his “The Roxy Tour.” Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see these iconic artists.

Week 5 (4/29): Run in the Stride for Aggie Pride 5k

Image result for stride for aggie pride

The Stride for Aggie Pride 5k begins at 9am on Sunday 4/29 at the Memorial Union. It is a great way to improve your physical fitness and it benefits the ASUCD Awards Endowment and We Are Aggie Pride which both aim to support student’s holistic health.

 

Week 7 (5/19): Eat at the Street Food Rodeo

Head out to West Davis from 5-9pm on 5/19 for an event completely dedicated to food. (My favorite kind of event.) Admission to the Rodeo is free, but you certainly will spend some money getting amazing food from the 13 different food trucks. There also will be live music and a beer garden (if you are of age).

 

 

 

Week 8 (5/23 or 5/26): Hang out at the Farmer’s Market

Image result for davis farmers market

Stop by the Davis Farmer’s Market from 8am-1pm Saturdays or from 4:30pm-sunset Wednesdays. Bring a blanket and you can picnic in the grass while eating some of the market’s delicious foods and listening to the fun live music.

 

 

Week 9 (5/29-6/1): Snag a hammock in the quad

Image result for hammock quad uc davis

As I’m sure most of you know, this is harder than it sounds. I recommend waiting nearby the hammocks right before peak class times like at 11:50, 12:50, and 1:50 to see if you can swoop in and grab one from a student leaving for class. Once you have secured your hammock, pull out a book or take a nap in the sun and be sure to post your hammock success to your Instagram story.

Week 10 (6/4-6/8): Go on a walk in the arboretum

Image result for arboretum uc davis

The flowers are blooming, the sun is out, and the green algae covering the water is almost all gone! At this point, the finals’ study crunch is in full swing and there’s no better place than the arboretum to take a quick study break.

 

Hope you enjoy this list of spring events and activities!

Katie Galsterer
4th Year Biopsychology Major
BASC Peer Advisor

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Why UC Davis?

I didn’t have the most linear experience deciding where I wanted to go to college. Rewind to 3 years ago, I was absolutely set on going to a private school in Colorado so that I could be on their figure skating team. I was so certain of my college plans that when I found out that I was accepted to UC Davis, I shrugged off the accomplishment, not giving it much thought, while my friends around me who also got their acceptances were crying from happiness and celebrating.

So what happened? Obviously I’m not at a private school in Colorado. What initially changed my college trajectory was my family’s and my realization that an out-of-state, private school was not financially plausible. So, suddenly, with only a few weeks before I had to commit to a school, I needed to find a plan B. At first, I was crushed and didn’t even want to look at other options, but finally, after moping around for a few days, I decided to seriously consider my other options.

My mom and I scheduled tours at four universities around California. First up was UC Berkeley. Tempted by the university’s prestige, I really wanted to love it there. But, it just didn’t feel quite right. I couldn’t see myself going there. As cliche as it sounds, it just didn’t click. So, even more discouraged at that point, I moved on to the next school – our very own UC Davis.

I unfortunately don’t remember my tour guide’s name, but I do remember their avid and genuine enthusiasm for the school. And as we walked throughout campus, I was struck by how friendly everyone was. Students biking past yelled “Go UC Davis!” and various other exclamations. (It probably helped that I didn’t tour during midterms or finals.) It seemed as though, even though UC Davis was a large university, it was still a community – an observation that I still stand by today. Having grown up in a town of 7,000 people, that feeling of community and familiarity was and is very comforting to me.

Hearing from the tour guide about the various resources on campus also added to that feeling of community. It was apparent that UC Davis took student support very seriously. My interest peaked when I heard about all the internship and research opportunities. Previously, I had pictured going to a UC like being a tiny fish in a huge pond, where opportunities like internships were elusive and hard to come by. Hearing that there were centers like the Internship and Career Center was both surprising and exciting.

Incredibly relieved that I had liked the campus, I spent the hour and a half drive home glued to my phone, doing research about the different academic programs at UC Davis. All I knew at this point in my life was that I wanted to major in something science-y, but I knew nothing beyond that. Reading about majors like Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, Biomedical Engineering, and Genetics, among many others, made me realize that going to a big university like UCD would give me so many more options than if I went to a small private school. As a very indecisive, stereotypical Pisces, having so many options to choose from was a huge factor in my ultimate decision to attend Davis.

So, after realizing that I could easily see myself biking around the campus for the next four years and learning about the different academic programs offered, my mind was basically made up. I ended up cancelling my tours at the last two schools I was considering attending and submitted my intent to register that next week. And, here I am, 4 years later, incredibly grateful for my winding journey that led me to become an Aggie.

Katie Galsterer
4th Year Biopsychology Major, Class of 2018
BASC Peer Advisor

A Letter to My First-Year Self

Dear First-Year Katie,

With graduation less than 5 months away, I, Fourth-Year Katie, have been a ball of anticipation, excitement, fear, and nostalgia. All of this nostalgia has made me think about all the things I’m so grateful that you (we? I’m not entirely sure how to address a hypothetical first year Katie, but for ease of writing, let’s go with “you.”) did and some of the things that I really wish you had done differently. Because as much as I try to live a #noregrets life, I’d be lying if I said there aren’t a few things that I would change if I could go back.

As you know, you are currently Undeclared. Even though you were only technically Undeclared for your first year, I think it would be more accurate if you were Undeclared your entire college experience. You tried so hard to figure everything out so quickly! And let’s be real, you mainly declared your major your first year because you felt scared of being Undeclared when seemingly everyone else around you have their life planned out and you just wanted a path – any path. That path just happened to be becoming a Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major.

That being said, you did do a lot of valuable things to help figure out what you wanted to do – you spoke to peer and major advisors, chatted with professors, and tried out all the online tools like the “Major Exploration Tool.” But, it felt like that was all taking too long and you weren’t feeling much clearer, so you chose the major that seemed like would be the “best” choice for going to medical school. Here’s a little insight into the future though, you are finally going to take your first NPB class your junior year and you are really going to hate it. The crazy thing is that this isn’t going to be like organic chemistry where everyone is complaining about the course, all the NPB majors looove this class.

Thus, begin our mid-college crisis. Feeling more unsure about your path now than ever, you delved into the major exploration during your third year that I wish you had done earlier. You experimented with taking Nutrition, Psychology, Biochemistry and Human Development classes. Getting the more hands-on experience with different subjects was what you needed to feel more clear about where your passions were. Unfortunately, already being 3 years into your college career, your options for changing your major were a bit limited given that you did not want to (and could not afford to) stay longer than 4 years.

Luckily, you did find a major, Biopsychology, that you felt excited about and that wasn’t too challenging to switch into late in the game. Because of that change, you’ll even learn about and get an amazing research internship at the UC Davis MIND Institute. So all and all, things didn’t work out too badly for you/us.

A couple other quick pieces of advice: 1. Don’t pull so many all nighters! Trust me, you will burn yourself out. 2. Join more clubs! Joining Vision Dance Troupe was undoubtedly one of your best decisions of college. But, during your first year, that’s all you were really involved in and you felt a bit lonely, so find other activities to do – maybe stick with the gymnastics club this time. You weren’t very good, but it really was fun. 3. Finally, and most importantly, try not too stress so much. Now that college is almost over and it feels like these four years blew by, I wish I had taken more time to have fun, relax, and appreciate this experience, instead of rush through it.

Good luck and much love,
Fourth Year Katie

 

Katie Galsterer
BASC Peer Advisor
Fourth Year: Biopsychology major

Resources for Undeclared Students

Three years ago, when I entered UC Davis as an Undeclared Life Sciences student, I had no idea what I wanted to major in, what career path I wanted to pursue, or what I wanted to do with my life in general. My interests were very widespread and all over the place. One week I would be inspired by an article I had read about a new, groundbreaking biomedical device and would “decide” that I would major in Biomedical Engineering and the next week I would have a meaningful interaction with an academic advisor and decide I wanted to go into higher education and counseling.

While I only officially changed my major twice (first from Undeclared Life Sciences to Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and then to Biopsychology), I changed my mind about a million other times. While this time of exploration was exciting and having so many options felt freeing, I also really struggled with figuring out how I should go about making this decision and finding resources to help me determine my passions. Many of my conversations with Undeclared students in advising appointments center around this idea – that having so many major and career options is overwhelming and they just don’t know where to start.

If you are in the same boat as so many of us at UC Davis and are unsure about your major or future career, here are some difference resources that you can utilize to help aid your decision.

Major Exploration Tool

The major exploration tool is an online program that asks you to designate different academic and career-related categories you are interested in. Based upon your answers, it then generates a lists of majors that could be a good fit, the major descriptions, and links to their websites. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdQrcRStSVrdVXI4kF0UDjuAHGQDWqXXXFCkUif1tVTgfwBCQ/viewform

Major Card Sort Tool

The major card sort tool is an online program that gives you descriptions of various majors and asks you if you are interested, possibly interested or not interested in each description. Once you have responded to all the cards, a list of majors you would most likely be interested in will populate and you can explore the tool’s suggestions. http://academicadvising.ucdavis.edu/majorcardsort/

What can I do with my major or degree?

The Internship and Career Center houses the “What can I do with my major or degree?” web page which has a huge amount of data about UC Davis, the four colleges, and all of the different majors. It includes links to employment and salary statistics for UC Davis graduates. http://icc.ucdavis.edu/research/what-can-i-do.htm

Career Exploration by Interest Area

The ICC also has a page dedicated to information on different interest areas like Health and Medicine, Food and Beverage, and Biological Sciences. Each interest area has extensive information on related fields and careers, campus organizations, and professional associations. http://icc.ucdavis.edu/research/industry.htm

UC Davis majors

This link lists all of the majors at UC Davis and provides information such as real world outcomes for the major, the requirements, the department website, and major advisor’s email. https://www.ucdavis.edu/majors/

Advising Resources:

Student Portal: The Online Advising Student Information System (OASIS)

OASIS provides links for advising, advising resources, important quarterly calendar dates, as well as various forms and petitions, along with GPA calculators and tools. https://students.ucdavis.edu/, is your personal academic advising tool.

Biology Academic Success Center (BASC)

Location: 1023 Sciences Laboratory Building

Contact Information: (530) 752-0410 or cbsundergrads@ucdavis.edu

Schedule an appointment: https://basc.ucdavis.edu

Undergraduate Advisor (located at the Biology Academic Success Center)

Undergraduate advisors can evaluate draft study plans for proper course sequences and workload, perform degree checks, and provide information on university and college rules and regulations. Go to http://basc.ucdavis.edu/ to schedule an appointment one of the undeclared program advisors.

Peer Advisors

As BASC peer advisors, we are all currently enrolled  in one of the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) Majors. We can help you with questions regarding courses and scheduling, filling out petitions, general education requirements, getting involved on-campus, and on-campus resources.

During the academic year, we are available daily for drop-in advising at the BASC from 9am-12pm and 1pm-5pm Monday through Thursday and 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm on Fridays. We are also available in the Academic Advising Centers in the Residence Halls for drop-in advising.

UC Davis General Catalog:

The catalog contains course descriptions from every department as well as important general academic information, college and graduation requirements, student rights and responsibilities and much more! The University publishes the catalog online: http://catalog.ucdavis.edu/ – familiarize yourself with it as much as possible.

Good luck with your decision! My biggest pieces of advice are to give yourself time and freedom to explore and to not get discouraged when you don’t like a class or major you thought you would. Knowing what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what you do like.

Katie Galsterer
BASC Peer Advisor
4th Year: Biopsychology Major, Nutrition Science Minor

What’s up with the new pre-req check?

This past week, we all received an email about how starting Fall 2017, Schedule Builder will automatically be enforcing prerequisites for courses. Since then, we’ve had several students come into the Biology Academic Success Center (BASC) to inquire as to what that means. If that email was the first time you’ve heard about the new pre-req check, then congratulations,  this means that you completed all of the prerequisites for your classes for this quarter. The College of Biological Sciences actually started using Schedule Builder’s automatic prerequisite checking system for Spring 2017 registration. However, as of Fall 2017 registration, the practice will be campus-wide.

To view the prerequisites for a course, search for the course in schedule builder and then click “show details” on the right side of the screen. Under the course description, you will see the prerequisites for the course listed.

So how will this prerequisite checking system affect your registration? Ultimately, if you are staying on top of your prerequisites, it won’t! However, say you want to register for a class, let’s call it ABC 123, that you haven’t completed the listed prerequisite for, you will now have to fill out a prerequisite petition that is made available to you on Schedule Builder. Also, if you think that another class you have taken has prepared you to be successful for ABC 123, you still have to complete the petition. Let’s take a look at what that would be like.

For the purpose of this blog, I added BIS 104 into my schedule. I have not completed one of its prerequisites, BIS 101, so the following message popped up:

bis 104 no pre req.PNG

Now, let’s say that hypothetically I was planning on taking the equivalent of BIS 101 at UCLA over the summer, so I decided to complete the the prerequisite petition so that I could still register for BIS 104. I would then click on the prerequisite petition and fill it out. This is what it would look like:

pre req petition

Here, I could explain my situation and upload evidence that I was registered for the equivalent of BIS 101 at UCLA. It is recommended that you include as much information on the prerequisite course as possible (expanded course description and/or course syllabus).

As soon as you submit the petition, Schedule Builder will allow you to register for the given class. You do not need to wait for it to be approved. The approval process will not happen until pass 2 (which is in August or September for Fall 2017 registration). At this point, it is at the instructor’s discretion if they approve the petition or not. If they decide not to approve it, then you will be dropped from the course. Therefore, do not assume that if you fill out the petition and register for the class, you will guaranteed a spot.

Also, make sure that when you’re filling out the petition that you are specific about why you do not need to take the listed prerequisite. If you are submitting the petition because you think a different class should suffice as a prerequisite, then be specific about what topics were covered and how it prepared you.
Another feature of this update, is that Schedule Builder will warn you if you save a class that you are currently enrolled in the prerequisite for. Don’t worry, this alert won’t prevent you from registering! However, if you don’t pass the prerequisite class, then you will be dropped from the class, again, at the discretion of the instructor.

pre req in progress.PNG

In fact, dropping you from the class is not the only thing that is up to the instructor’s discretion, it is also their decision to participate in the prerequisite checking system at all. Some may opt out. So if you notice that you haven’t completed a prerequisite for a class, but are not blocked from registration, this may be the case. That being said, as advisers, we strongly recommend completing the prerequisite(s) before you take a class regardless.

Good luck registering and be sure to come into BASC if you have any questions about the prerequisite check or about registration in general.

Katie Galsterer
3rd Year Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major
Nutrition Science Minor
BASC Peer Advisor

Why UC Davis?

I didn’t have the most linear experience deciding where I wanted to go to college. Rewind to 3 years ago, I was absolutely set on going to a private school in Colorado so that I could be on their figure skating team. I was so certain of my college plans that when I found out that I was accepted to UC Davis, I shrugged off the accomplishment, not giving it much thought, while my friends around me who also got their acceptances were crying from happiness and celebrating.

So what happened? Obviously I’m not at a private school in Colorado. What initially changed my college trajectory was me and my family’s realization that an out-of-state, private school was not financially plausible. So suddenly, with only a few weeks before I had to commit to a school, I needed to find a plan B. At first, I was crushed and didn’t even want to look at other options, but finally, after moping around for a few days, I decided to seriously consider my other options.

My mom and I scheduled tours at four universities around California. First up was UC Berkeley, tempted by the university’s prestige, I really wanted to love it there. But, it just didn’t feel quite right. I couldn’t see myself going there. As cliche as it sounds, it just didn’t click. So, even more discouraged at this point, I moved on to the next school – our very own UC Davis.

I unfortunately don’t remember my tour guide’s name, but I do remember their avid and genuine enthusiasm for the school. And as we walked throughout campus, I was struck by how friendly everyone was. Students biking past yelled “Go UC Davis!” and various other exclamations. (It probably helped that I didn’t tour during midterms or finals.) It seemed as though, even though UC Davis is a large university, it was still a community – an observation that I still stand by today. Having grown up in a town of 7,000 people, this feeling of community and familiarity was and is very comforting to me.

Hearing from the tour guide about the various resources on campus also added to that feeling of community. It was apparent that UC Davis took student support very seriously. My interest was peaked when I heard about all the internship and research opportunities. Previously, I had pictured going to a UC like being a tiny fish in a huge pond, where opportunities like internships were elusive and hard to come by. Hearing that there were centers like the Internship and Career Center was both surprising and exciting.

Incredibly relieved that I had liked the campus, I spent the hour and a half drive home glued to my phone, doing research about the different academic programs at UC Davis. All I knew at this point in my life was that I wanted to major in something science-y, but I knew nothing beyond that. Reading about majors like Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (my future major), Biomedical Engineering, and Genetics, among many others, made me realize that going to a big university like UCD would give me so many more options than if I went to a small private school. As a very indecisive, stereotypical Pisces, having so many options to choose from was a huge factor in my ultimate decision to attend Davis.

So, after realizing that I could easily see myself biking around the campus for the next four years and learning about the different academic programs offered, my mind was basically made up. I ended up cancelling my tours at the last two schools I was considering attending and submitted my intent to register that next week. And, here I am, 3 years later, incredibly grateful for my winding journey that led me to become an Aggie.

Katie Galsterer
3rd Year Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, Class of 2018
BASC Peer Advisor

Navigating online UCD resources

UC Davis has about a billion different websites (a very scientific measurement, I know), so it can be challenging to figure out what website to go to if you are looking for something specific. Here are some of the academic websites and their functions that I have found to be very helpful as a UC Davis student.

My UC Davis

If you only remember one website from this list, remember My UC Davis, because it has links to just about all of the following academic websites and much, much more. So when in doubt, if you can’t remember the name of a UC Davis website and a google search has failed you, try going there. You can find a link to Schedule Builder, OASIS, Canvas, and Smartsite, as well as a link to your student record under the “Academics” tab.

OASIS

On OASIS, or the Online Advising Student Information System, you can view your past academic record, see if you’ve made the Dean’s Honors list, submit forms such as a change of major form or an excess unit form, and have some fun with your GPA. That sounds a bit hard to believe, right? Fun and GPA in the same sentence? However through OASIS’s “What if GPA” tool, you can see how your GPA would change based on predictions for the grades in your current classes. Another function of OASIS is creating an academic plan. An academic plan is essentially a schedule of your courses until you graduate. You can start a new academic plan by going to the “Forms & Petitions” tab, clicking on “Submit a New Form” and choosing “Academic Plan.” If you want help creating an academic plan, feel free to come into the BASC to meet with a peer advisor. We are academic plan pros!

Schedule Builder

If you are a registered student, then you have used Schedule Builder, so I won’t bore you by going over its basic functions. However, there are some functions on Schedule Builder that aren’t very well known, but are very useful. For example, if you are looking for a class that fulfills specific GE requirements, then first click on “Add/Search Courses” and then “Show Advanced Options.” From there, you can check which GE requirements you want a class to fulfill and also filter the search by choosing the number of units, if you want a lower or upper division course, and by any time preferences you may have.

Class Search Tool

For those of us, myself included, who entered UC Davis Fall 2014 or later, this is probably one of the lesser known websites. Schedule Builder has essentially taken over the main function of the Class Search Tool which is to look up the different classes that are offered each quarter. However, the one thing that Class Search Tool can do and that schedule builder cannot is to go back to previous years so that you can see what was offered. Why would you want to do that? Well, if you are considering taking summer session, the classes offered during summer session aren’t typically posted until March. This search tool will not be able to tell you for sure what will be offered, but you can look up if a particular class has been taught during the past couple summers. That can be an indication of if it might be offered this year. Also, while searching for courses you can view prerequisites, the GE credits allotted to each course, and drop deadlines.

BASC Website

The BASC website has so many awesome resources that you can utilize. For every College of Biological Sciences major, there are detailed requirements as well as sample study plans. Additionally, there’s information about our college requirements, changing your major, research and careers, and links to forms and petitions. Some of the more common petitions are the petition for substituting a different course for one of your major’s restricted electives and the late drop petition. You can also make an appointment with your major advisor on the BASC website! If you have not explored it yet, I highly recommend doing so.

General Catalog

Visit this site if you want to read descriptions of majors and minors, courses, and get more information about the university and college requirements. The detailed  major requirements that can be found by clicking on “Programs and Courses,” the major you are interested in, and then “Requirements,” is great to have open if you are working on your academic plan on OASIS. Additionally on the general catalog, when searching for classes you can see what GE credit a course satisfies, what quarters the course is generally offered, and the prerequisites for each course.

Major Exploration Tool

If you are feeling unsure about which major to pursue, then the Major Exploration Tool could be great resource. It asks you to designate different categories you are interested in and then generates a lists of majors, their descriptions, and links to their websites that may interest you.

Health Professions Advising

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the health field, check out the Health Professions Advising (HPA, for short) website. I am constantly referring to it for my own academic use and, also, when I meet with students. You can view the different prerequisite coursework for each health career by clicking on the “Pre-Health Requirements” tab and then choosing your intended professional school on the right side of the screen. You can also learn about upcoming events put on by HPA by clicking on the calendar shown on the homepage. Their events range from workshops on suturing to seminars put on by admissions boards of different professional schools. If you aren’t sure about what health profession you want to pursue, then you can explore them by browsing through the “Health Careers” tab. Finally, if you want to talk to a health professions advisor there is also a link for scheduling an appointment on the homepage as well.

Hopefully you learned a new website or a new function of a website and feel more prepared to navigate our online resources successfully. As always, if you have more questions about these resources, come in to BASC and chat with a peer advisor. Our drop-in hours for Winter Quarter are from 9am-12pm and 1pm-6pm Monday and Wednesdays, 9am-12pm and 4pm-6pm Tuesdays and Thursdays,  and from 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm on Fridays.

Katie Galsterer
3rd Year Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, Class of 2018
BASC Peer Advisor