Making a Four-Year Plan

Pass 1 for Winter 2016 is coming up. Some of you may already have a beautiful schedule lined up and some of you may still be frantically searching for classes to take, feeling lost and anxious. Whichever individual you are at the moment, you should seriously consider making a rough four-year plan or revising one you already have. Creating a four-year plan can seem daunting, time consuming, and unnecessary; however, in the long run your academic life will be much easier with a pre-planned schedule. Think about all those pass times that you won’t have to stress over! For many of you, creating a four-year plan may mean making life defining decisions such as: Should I go to Medical School? Will I be taking a gap year before work? Do I want to change my major? Am I finally going to minor in Spanish like I said I would?  Our recommendation is: make a plan now and don’t be afraid to change it along the way! Here are some simple steps to get started.

 

  • FRUSTRATEDKIDTalk to An Adviser (Or Multiple) 

Not sure where to begin when planning your future? When in doubt, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your major adviser or come by during drop-in hours  to see a peer adviser. Trained professionals are available to give you the know how’s and the what’s ups to making an academic plan.

What about Double Majoring?

Finishing a double major at UC Davis requires tactful and strategic arranging of classes and definitely, lots of planning. When making a plan be sure to visit the advisers of both majors you intend to finish.

Thinking About Minoring?

Finishing one minor or even multiple minors is a great way to broaden your academic experience. Most minors require roughly 20 units; it’s also important to check for prerequisites and other minute details. For more information, talk to an adviser for the college or department you plan on minoring in.

Planning on Going to Professional School?NorthHall-Large

For many of you, applying to college won’t be the last time you needed to write a personal statement; find teachers for letters of recommendations; take a standardized exam; and ensure you fulfill all the prerequisites for your future dream school. This is where a four-year plan can really help you reach your professional dreams and make sure you fulfill all prerequisites, GE’s, and university/major requirements before you graduate. Applying to professional school is indeed difficult, but thankfully there are trained advisers available to guide you through the application process. Visit UC Davis’ Pre-Graduate/Professional Advising in 111 South Hall or go to 1011 SLB to talk to a Pre-Health Professions Adviser \

  • Make a List of Prospective Classes  

So, you’ve already seen your major adviser and you’re on track to graduate–Great! The next thing to do is incorporate interesting and/or relevant classes into your four-year plan. Exploring the General Catalog is a great place to begin, as it contains all the major/minor requirements, a list of all the GE’s offered on campus. Tip: The letters and numerals you see here:  QL, SE, SL, VL.—I, II, III. (I, II, III.) These tell you what GE’s the class fulfills and also the quarter that class is offered. (I. means fall, II. means winter, and III. means spring)                                                               You can also narrow down your search using Schedule Builder’s Advanced Options. Extra Tip: Jot these classes down into a planner or into your computer so you can access them later.

 

  • Sit Down and Actually Make a Plan planning baby

So, you’ve more or less decided on a career and have compiled a list of interesting classes–you’re ready to start planning! Be sure to allocate a time block of a few hours to sit down infront of a computer and churn out a four-year plan. Many students like to use Excel but we also recommend using Oasis‘s Academic Plan form.    Such a form can be found under the Forms and Petitions Tab on Oasis. When plugging and chugging the classes you want to take, be sure to consider a few things…

Fulfill Prerequisites:

Most upper-division major requirements have prerequisite classes, and it is important to make sure you’ve filled in all your prerequisite courses before putting in your major classes. Not having the right prerequisites could result in being dropped from the class or being unprepared for the course, so be sure to take a look in the General Catalog or on Schedule Builder for specific details.

Consider SS1 or SS2: 

UC Davis offers a large majority of major classes during the summer, and students tend to perform better in classes taken during the summer time. Instead of spreading yourself thin with multiple classes, you can focus all your efforts on one class! If you want to get ahead of your schedule or take a load off of your normal academic quarter, definitely plan on taking a class or two in the summer. It’s important to plan ahead so that you can talk to the Financial Aid Office regarding your financial needs or make vacation plans with friends and family.

Make Time for Studying Abroad: abroad

Did you know students can take BIS 101 in Europe every summer? This is just one example of the many classes and places students can explore with the Study Abroad Program. Studying abroad is usually the experience of a lifetime, but there may be a lot of hoops to jump through before actually going abroad. That is why it is important to have a plan, so you have time to prepare documents and figure out living expenses.

Whether or not you’ve decided on a future career, it never hurts to make a four-year plan and then change it as life goes forward. Life happens and your plans may be uncertain; however, a four-year plan may elucidate certain fuzzy details about the future, and set you on the right track to success!

Happy Planning!

Melissa Li                                                                                                                         Class of 2016  Biological Sciences, Emphasis in Neurology, Physiology, and Behavior                                                Biology Academic Success–Peer Adviser

Staying On Top Of Things-A Guide To First Year Living Off Campus

With the current academic year coming to a close and move-in day to your new apartment getting closer, it is time to prepare for the big move. Moving to an off-campus apartment is such an exciting time; you are living on your own! But…you are living on your own, which means new responsibilities.

Moving away from home into the dorms is a big step, however, highly convenient.  Living in the dorms you are on campus, you are living right next to the wonderful Dining Commons, and you do not have to do any chores! All of this changes once you move to an off-campus apartment: You are no longer on campus, the Dining Commons is not within convenient reach, and yes, you guessed it, you will have chores to take care of. Although moving into your own apartment comes with extra responsibilities, it is easy to make the best out of it by being prepared for what is to come.

Think about time. Living off campus requires extra planning with respect to time. It is important to give extra consideration to travel time when living off-campus; how will you get to campus? Bus, walk, bike, drive? If you prefer taking the bus, begin familiarizing yourself with the bus schedule. It is nice to already know the bus schedule so you do not miss the bus and are late to class. There is also a great UC Davis Mobile App that has the Unitrans schedule for reference. One thing that may be helpful at the beginning of each quarter is to review your class schedule and plan which bus to take so you get to campus with plenty of time to get to class on time. Unitrans is free to all UC Davis students as long as they show a student ID. Similarly, if you choose to walk, bike, or drive (parking permit is required) to campus, leave with enough time so you are not late.
A lot of the time this means waking up extra early!

What happens when you are on campus and have a break between your classes? Do you go home? Do you stay on campus? It is much more time costly to go home between breaks. Going home decreases productivity levels. Chances are you will go home and by the time you get home there is no time to get some good studying done before you have to go back to campus (unless you have a 3+ hour gap). It is encouraged to stay on campus and use this time to study. Begin looking for a favorite study spot on campus, somewhere you are comfortable and can concentrate.

What about food? No more Dining Commons? Well, not necessarily. Even if you are not living in the Residence Halls one can still purchase meal plans and you can do so by following these directions online. If you wish to not purchase a meal plan and plan to prepare your own meals by cooking at home then great! Cooking your own meals has some great advantages: you can cook whatever you wish, staying healthy is easier, and this is a great way to improve cooking skills (I encourage you to also read our “A Healthy Balanced Diet” blog for tips on ways to stay healthy). On campus there is also the Silo and Memorial Union with a variety of food choices.

Do I hear you asking about resources outside of the residence halls? There are a plethora of campus resources available to you scattered throughout our campus. Once you no longer live in the residence halls, the Academic Advising Centers may not be the most convenient place for you. Your first, and most important academic advising resource should be your Dean’s Office. Each college has their own Dean’s Office:

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
150 Mrak Hall

College of Biological Sciences
Biology Academic Success Center
1023 Sciences Laboratory Building

College of Engineering
1050 Kemper Hall

College of Letters and Science
200 Social Sciences and Humanities Building

Aside from your respective Dean’s Office, there are plenty other resources available to you. For a bit of information on a few resources available I encourage you to read our Resource Highlight blogs on Health Professions Advising, the Student Community Center, and the Student Academic Success Center. The Center For student Involvement is also a great resources to use to stay connected on campus, get involved in a club, or join an intramural sport; there is plenty to choose from.  Fear not, there are even more resources available to you, do not be afraid to do a little research!

Best of luck!

Alejandra Villa
3rd year Genetics and Genomics major
Biology Academic Success Center Peer Adviser

Career Spotlight: Anatomist

Do you enjoy studying the form and structure of animal bodies?  Are you interested in performing systematic observations and dissections of muscles, tissues, and organs? Where you fascinated with the make up of the human body when you took CHA 101/EXB 106? If so, a career as an Anatomist may be a great fit!

What is an Anatomist?

According to schoolsintheusa.com, an Anatomist is someone who specializes in the body structure of organisms, and has played an important role in the research and discovery of organisms and their function for centuries. A career as an Anatomist can be very rewarding, because it allows you to explore what is normally hidden from view and discover how structure relates to function. There are a variety of different systems Anatomists can specialize in depending on their interests. Some examples of these include the endocrine system, lymphatic system, cardiovascular system, and skeletal system.

Anatomists also specialize in different species other than the human body depending on their field of work. Because the structures of most mammalian bodies have many similarities, Anatomists will typically draw inferences from existing knowledge to discover new purposes for the existing structure of species and their organs.

The following is a list of typical tasks an Anatomist regularly performs:

  • Examine large organs and organ systems through dissection
  • Examine smaller structures such as tissues and cells using a microscope
  • Compare structures across different species
  • Utilize knowledge on the structural form of organisms to solve medical problems

What type of education do Anatomists have?

An Anatomist will typically have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Chemistry, or any related field to biological, physical, or behavioral science. A masters degree in Anatomy is required to then work in a laboratory or for a private company. Most Anatomists also go on to earn a Doctoral degree to get a research or teaching position at a university or medical school.

Where do Anatomists work?

There are many different areas Anatomists can work. Most Anatomists either teach or do research in universities or medical centers where they help train scientists or various health care workers such as physicians, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists. Others may be employed by private companies, governmental agencies, or scientific publishing firms. Anatomists therefore spend most of their time in laboratories or class rooms, and must be flexible with working alone or as part of a team.

Salary:

Salary depends on the education of the Anatomist, and according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics the average pay is $75,160, and there is an expected 13% increase in employment.

Additional Resources:

There are various Graduate Programs in Anatomy across the country. You can explore these options to choose a program that best fits your interests and career goals. Here is a summary of the resources used in this blog to help you gather more information on becoming an Anatomist:

Hopefully this spotlight on becoming an Anatomist has peaked your interest or helped you identify some of your career goals. Good luck!

Zoe Lim
BASC Peer Adviser
Biological Sciences Major

 

The Many Advantages of Summer Sessions

Spring quarter is off in full swing and it is time to start looking ahead and thinking about summer plans. Many of you may be excited to get some rest and relaxation, or to just get out of Davis for an adventure. Although these all sound very enticing, remember that Summer Sessions is a great option. Whether you are looking to get ahead, catch up on units, or take a challenging major course, the advantages of enrolling in Summer Sessions are plentiful. To peak your interest in staying in Davis to take classes this summer, I will share my experience with Summer Sessions in the following paragraphs.

It was Spring quarter during my second year at Davis, and I had just taken Physics 7B. Physics proved to be challenging to me compared to other courses, so I began thinking about taking it as soon after Physics 7B as I could. After sitting down and mapping out my third and fourth year classes, I realized taking Physics would not only clear up my schedule but help me concentrate on other challenging courses that I was planning to take during fall quarter of my third year, like NPB 101 and BIS 101. My next decision was whether or not to take Session 1 or Session 2. I wanted to take Session 1 because I felt it would be good to take Physics 7C right after having taken 7B, with only a couple of weeks separating the two rather than a couple months. However I felt pretty drained from Spring quarter and I ultimately decided that Session 2 would be best because it would give my mind a break and I could come back ready to learn in the beginning of August.  I also realized that many of my friends from home that were going to semester schools would be going back to school around August too, so I would not feel like I was ending my summer early.

Summer session 2 was fast-paced to say the least. Although I was only taking Physics 7C and a GE course,  I had to constantly study in order to keep up with the work. However, I found it much easier to do so when I only had two classes to concentrate on because the material was constantly being reinforced. This, along with the fact that I was able to go to my professor’s office hours because I had a more open schedule, is why I was able to have a remarkably better learning outcome in Physics 7C than I had with Physics 7B when I took it during the regular quarter. I was also really happy to finish classes in 6 weeks rather than 10 weeks!


Although Summer Session at UC Davis may not be your first idea when it comes to making summer plans here is a short list of the advantages of taking Summer Sessions:

  • Improve your UC cumulative GPA
  • Work towards reaching minimum progress
  • Take prerequisite courses for graduate school
  • Clear up a packed schedule by taking some classes in the summer
  • Benefit from concentrating on less classes
  • Summer session is only six weeks
  • Have more time to explore the city of Davis!

When registering for Summer Session classes, be sure to keep a balanced schedule during each session. This means you should avoid taking two science classes together during one session due to the time constraints and rigor of of science courses.

There has been an important update to financial aid for Summer Session. It will now be awarded based on the earliest date that you are registered or wait-listed in at least 6 units total over the whole summer. For example, if you only wanted to enroll in one session, you would need a minimum of 6 units. But, if you wanted to take both sessions, you would need a minimum of 6 units total for both summer sessions. Also, be on the look out for Summer Sessions pass times coming out April 27th!

 

Have a great Summer Session and good luck!

Zoe Lim

Biological Sciences

BASC Peer Adviser

 

Decision time!

Congratulations on making it this far! This is such an exciting time- you are getting to choose where you will spend the next four years of your life!

For me, the decision was actually very clear and deep down I knew I would end up choosing UC Davis, but I am such an indecisive person that it took a lot of going back and forth for me to actually commit to going to UC Davis, (I think I signed my Intent to Register on the very last day). I initially thought of UC Davis as “the school off I-80 that is on the way to Tahoe” but after my first visit I began to associate it as an exciting school with a gorgeous campus, big egg heads, and cute and fun downtown. I began to form this opinion of UC Davis during a school field trip in 7th grade on my first college tour. I have a clear picture of walking along the arboretum, sitting on the quad, and walking through the very exciting and busy Memorial Union on that sunny Spring day. I remember having a great time on the trip and really liking that atmosphere. I knew there were many wonderful things about UC Davis, mainly that it was a great science school, and so I began to start picturing myself as a UC Davis student.

When I found out I was accepted, I was very excited because I knew a few people who had gone to school at UC Davis and I always heard positive things from them. My parents had also told me great things about UC Davis, saying that it was one of the last “true college towns.” When they told me this I had no idea what that meant, but after spending four years living in Davis and getting to compare it to other schools, I now know that this is true. Taking a stroll in downtown Davis will allow you to experience the sense of community centered around the school and the excitement about events happening in both the school and the town. Most people that live in Davis seem to be affiliated with the University in some way and are always happy to speak to students and offer advice, which for me was a very positive factor because I really wanted to go to a school with a welcoming and hospitable environment.

I can empathize with many of you who are weighing different factors and trying to decide between your options. An important factor for deciding is thinking about yourself and the type of person you are, and trying to match which school will offer you the most opportunities to succeed both academically and socially. With this in mind, remember that UC Davis has SO MANY different resources and opportunities for a wide variety of students to get involved and feel included in academics and the campus community. Here is a brief list of these resources and opportunities:

Good luck and I hope you are all future Aggies!

Zoe Lim
Peer Adviser
Biology Academic Success Center
Biological Sciences, Class of 2015

 

Decision Day: Why UC Davis?

As I transition into my senior year at UC Davis, I realize that I could not have made a better college choice. As a freshman I was ecstatic to be here. The trees, the animals, and new people were all so exciting. Now, I have experiences to add to my growing love for UC Davis.

I met my best friend in Chemistry lab! It is Fall quarter of my second year and I am enrolled in CHE 2C. I find myself performing the infamous first-day-of-lab routine: walk in, set your backpack on the shelves, put on your gloves, and find a seat…and a partner.  I quickly scope the room to find the friendliest face I can, and I spot Trinidad in the leftmost corner of the room. I think to myself: “hmm, she doesn’t look that bad.” So I sit next to her. At first we are both a bit quiet, well behaved, and reserved, you know how it goes. Soon, however, all this well-behaved business goes down the drain and we begin to act ourselves. We clicked immediately. Since then we have taken all our Chemistry labs together as lab partners and now even though our chemistry days are over we continue to be best friends. Working together as lab partners allowed us to bond and grow to become very good friends. Trinidad is not the only best friend I have made during my time here at Davis. I met one of my housemates, Vickie, the summer before starting at UC Davis on the first day of our orientation, and we plan to continue living together until we graduate. I do not know what I would have done if I did not run into Vickie at orientation, I would have missed out on such a wonderfully bubbly individual.

CHE2C-CHE118 BFF
Our last Organic Chemistry (118C) lab. (Me on the left; Trinidad to the right; Ben; and our wonderful TA, Juri, on the far right)

Internship experience! So far I have interned in two locations: the UC Davis Medical Center (UCDMC) and Harper Junior High School. Each internship has taught me a great deal of what there is to know in each respective professional field. The experience I have gained from both of these internships has not only benefited me on a professional level, but also on a personal level. Completing these internships has proven to me that I can thrive in diverse fields because of my desire to help others, work ethic, and acquired skills.

At the UCDMC I was an intern at the OB/GYN clinic in the Fetal Testing room. Patients that are considered to be high risk pregnancy (e.g. patients with diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, lupus, etc.) are seen in this room twice a week for 15-20 minute intervals of fetal testing. These fetal tests are conduced with a monitor that records fetal movement/ heart rate, which is a great indicator of the health of the fetus. During my time in the Fetal Testing room I saw many patients, each with her own unique case. I learned many things such as how to conduct an ultrasound and how to read it, how to deal with emergency situations, and the appropriate manner in which to advise patients.

At Harper Junior High I interned for a 9th grade Biology  and 8th grade Science teacher, Mr. McKim. Interning at a school was a complete 180 degree switch from my previous clinic internship, but nonetheless fulfilling.  Mr. McKim did an outstanding job of mentoring me on what it is to be a teacher. I was exposed to instructing, grading, and the extracurricular activities that a teacher is responsible for outside of the classroom. For example, Mr. McKim is head of the gardening club and has to keep up with the garden and trees on campus- I experienced some gardening myself as an intern at Harper. At Harper I learned what it means to be an educator and also how difficult it can be. A teacher’s work does not end when the bell rings. There is grading, lesson planning, lab preparations, extracurricular activity duties, etc. that still need to be completed. I have come to appreciate the service teachers give to their students.

*Both internships I found through the Internship and Career Center website, so if you are interested in internship positions I encourage you to pay the website a visit!

Working as a peer adviser. One of the most fulfilling experiences I have had at UC Davis has been working as a peer adviser at the Biology Academic Success Center. Coming to UC Davis as a first-generation college student I was so inspired to help high school seniors prepare for college. I wanted to help everyone, so I began with students at my high school. When I found out about the peer adviser position openings for the College of Biological Sciences I was sure I would be perfect for the job. I applied and was hired! Helping students (any year student) is so rewarding for me mainly because I love to help others, but also because I have already experienced the transition into college. Having already gone through the transition from high school to college, and knowing how difficult it may be to cope with changes happening all at once, I want to make myself useful for those who need a little extra help or even those who want to get ahead. After meeting with a student it is nice to see him/her leave reassured that they are on the right track to fulfilling their academic goals.

I have had many great experiences at UC Davis, but I have also been continuously challenged and every challenge has allowed for personal growth in one way or another. I have achieved many things I did not imagine myself completing or did not know I was capable of and I have UC Davis to thank.

I love UCD
I LOVE UCD!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alejandra Villa
Third year, Genetics and Genomics major
Biology Academic Success Center Peer Adviser

Why You Should Join The Aggie Family

You have been accepted to multiple universities but how do you know which one is right for you? Make this part fun and explore as many universities as you can. The most important part is being able to visualize yourself in that community for the next two to four years.

The decision to join the Aggie family started my sophomore year of high school whenUC Davis Arboretum DSC_0019 - 1e I began volunteering in the Trauma Nursing Unit at UC Davis Medical Center. I loved how the medical center was a teaching hospital and the staff was always willing to help. This really sparked my interest in UC Davis and I started to research more about the university. Through my research, I learned that UC Davis has a medical school and infinite opportunities to get involved in research and internships. I really appreciated these aspects because I was considering the pre-med route.

My first time actually visiting the campus was when I attended the Annual Pre-Health and Pre-Medical Professions National Conference my senior year of high school. This gave me an opportunity to not only enjoy the conference but also explore the campus. The campus is beautiful and has exquisite scenery. It is filled with trees and the arboretum has many different trails and gardens. If you love nature, UC Davis provides a great outdoor study environment, who does not love to study by a lake?

Another main reason why I chose UC Davis was because I wanted to stay close to home. The commute from Sacramento to Davis is about thirty minutes, which is perfect to stay in touch with old friends while makIMG_0624siging new ones.

From all of these experiences, I could not help but fall in love with UC Davis. It was everything I ever wanted in a university and I could not wait to apply. To this day, I have no regrets and everyday I am reminded that I made the right choice. I hope you have a similar experience and whatever school you chose, make sure it makes you happy!

Rufa Pazyuk
BASC Peer Adviser
Second Year, Biological Sciences