The Easiest Decision

I made the life-changing decision to be an Aggie on Decision Day. Even though this day marked my first time visiting UC Davis, the few hours I spent touring the campus were all that I needed to realize that I would be spending the next four years in Davis. From my parents’ perspective, I made my decision too abruptly. Both of my parents attended UC Santa Barbara and ultimately hoped I would follow in their footsteps. In an attempt to change my mind about UC Davis, my parents overwhelmed me with descriptions of Santa Barbara’s beaches and their experiences rollerblading to classes in their swimsuits. However, I did not want to attend a university solely based on superficial reasons.

In reality, my decision was not as abrupt as it may have seemed. Before Decision Day, I already had an affinity towards UC Davis. As an avid lacrosse player in high school, I wished to continue playing sports competitively in college. Through my research prior to visiting Davis, I learned that UC Davis club sports teams are competitive and highly ranked. Once I was an Aggie, I joined the UC Davis women’s club lacrosse team.  Our team ended up winning the national championship in 2012!

As a high school student interested in a career in medicine, I was excited to learn that UC Davis has a medical center and medical school in Sacramento (only a short bus-ride away). UCSB could not offer me the same health internship opportunities because UCSB does not have a medical school like UC Davis.

Before visiting Davis, I already knew I liked the location of the campus. As a snowboarder, I loved the idea that UC Davis is only two hours from Tahoe’s ski resorts. Plus, as a bay area resident, Davis seemed like the perfect distance away from home. The one hour drive to the bay area made the distance seem far enough to promote an independent college life, yet close enough to allow me the opportunity to visit my family as often as I pleased.

With such a positive view of Davis prior to visiting the campus, I hoped to solidify my decision through seeing the student population and general atmosphere at UC Davis. I knew that I would not find sandy beaches in Davis, but I was thoroughly surprised by Davis’ beauty. The campus has luscious trees, brick buildings, a quad filled with lounging students, and an arboretum trail complete with ponds, redwood trees, and even turtles!

The UC Davis arboretum is a hidden gem on the outskirts of campus!

I loved the feeling of walking around a campus filled with happy students. Now, I can say with confidence that I am one of those happy students. As a senior with only weeks left at UC Davis, I am jealous of the opportunity that incoming freshman have to experience everything that Davis has to offer.

I hope seeing UC Davis makes your decision as easy as mine was on Decision Day!

Jennifer Hofmann


Exercise Biology Major

BASC Peer Adviser

Why UC Davis?

The Pre-Med Approach

Opportunities. If there is one word to describe UC Davis, this would be it. Consider getting involved with actual student-run clinics. Imagine you are on the forefront of healthcare as you interact with patients, take down their vitals and then observe first-hand the procedures and examinations that a physician administers. Now envision having a wide variety of these clinics each with its specific target population and special programs. Below I’ve listed some of the many clinics you could choose from and their target populations:

  1. Willow Clinic- Homeless Population of Sacramento
  2. Shifa Clinic- Middle Eastern and South Asian Communities
  3. Paul Hom Asian Clinic – Medically Uninsured Asian Population
  4. Imani Clinic – Underserved African American community
  5. Joan Viteri Memorial Clinic – health care for high-risk populations, including “IV drug users, sex workers, and their families”
  6. Many More!! Check this website for more information: for more info.

Give back to the community while gaining first-hand clinical experience with any of these clinics.

Want to intern at UC Davis’ state-of-the-art medical facility? Be placed in the center of an emergency room or watch an intricate surgery! UC Davis ensures its undergraduates receive the experience they need to assess whether medicine is the right field for them.

The Researcher Approach

Want some research experience? UC Davis prides itself as being one of the top public research facilities in the nation. Do you want to conduct research in a microbiology lab, a neurobiology physiology and behavior lab, or even a biochemistry lab? What about plant Biology or pharmaceutical chemistry? UC Davis faculty are very open to taking on undergraduates in their lab. Feel like you need more medical based research? You could also participate in Immunology labs or cancer labs with UC Davis Medical Center faculty! You’ll be conducting PCRs, Western Blots, Immunohistochemistry, DNA Extractions and much more! Opportunities for clinical experience and research experience during your undergraduate years are endless!

Additionally, these research experiences will help students understand if they want to go into graduate school or industry.

Ok so what about the classes?

After having gone to UC Davis for over 2 and a half years, I can definitely say that taking classes here is fun! If you’re in General Chemistry, don’t be surprised if the professor does a demonstration with Nitrogen and Oxygen in which there is a LOUD explosion with fire too! Taking the introductory biology courses will already immerse you in the material you will study. During the labs, you will be able to observe, touch and feel sting rays, worms, spiders, and much more! Imagine being in your Organic Chemistry lab actually creating a tablet of Acetaminophen (Tylenol). The hands-on experiences are endless with the many laboratories in all fields of studies.

We even have classes that you wouldn’t believe are classes. Want to take a course on tractor driving, beer and brewery, global poverty, or coffee? There are great courses that Count for your general education requirement while fulfilling your interests outside of your major!

But what about outside of clinic, research and classes?

Want something more? Imagine being on a campus surrounded by nature. The vast arboretum is a few minutes’ walk. You can go there to relax during the day or star gaze at night. When you’re not so much in the mood to relax, you can go to the many events we have on campus. Be part of a crowd cheering for an NCAA Division I school or part of a hundred thousand visitors during our Annual Picnic Day Festival. Join clubs or even be a part of the ASUCD (Associated Students University of California, Davis). Why not study abroad for a quarter or two to Europe or Asia while working on your degree requirements? I chose UC Davis because of the limitless opportunities.

Mo Siddiqui
Peer Adviser, Biology Academic Success Center
B.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Class of 2015

So Many Trees! So Many People! Cows?! I Want To Be An Aggie.

WELL, the time has come. It’s time to make decisions; very frightening and exciting decisions. It’s time to choose a college!

Choosing a college was very difficult for me-that is, until I visited the UC Davis campus. Decision Day 2012 was the first time I experienced UC Davis. It was not the first college I  visited, but it was definitely the first college to make me feel at home. After a seven hour drive, waking from a nice nap, groggy and tired, I stepped out of my parents’ car to MY college. Right away I knew I was going to pick UC Davis. I thought I would need to at least get through all of Decision Day, consider my options, and then choose the most beneficial school. No, UC Davis had me as soon as I stepped out of the car . But what was it that made me know I was going to be an Aggie? The beautiful campus and its people.

Now, I did not merely arrive at my college choice based on only its aesthetics. Prior to visiting, I had researched the academic benefits that UC Davis has to offer. While conducting my initial research, UC Davis rapidly became one of my top candidate schools which is why I felt the need to make the seven hour trip from Southern California to check it out. What I experienced during Decision Day was the determining factor in my choice. I was a high school senior in a vast university campus, surrounded by trees and enthusiastic and friendly UC Davis students.  The aura was amazing.

The trees, how friendly everyone was, and the animals on campus were the highlight of my experience. I enjoy nature and I just loved the idea of being surrounded by trees all the time. It was also the first time I saw such colorful trees (we don’t get that in LA). Also, I was pleased to discover that UC Davis students are friendly and welcoming; it was not just a Decision Day act. The last thing I was just absolutely amazed by was the mention of cows on campus!

And not just cows; there are also llamas, horses, ducks, sheep, pigs, goats, turkeys, and I even saw a peacock as my parents and I drove into campus. I’m very glad I attended Decision Day because if I hadn’t, I would have not chosen the perfect college for me. I truly believe that I made the right choice with UC Davis and I hope it is yours as well!


Alejandra Villa
Second year
Biological Sciences
BASC Peer Adviser

I got into UC Davis? Mom, Where is UC Davis? When Did I Apply to UC Davis?!?

My name is Brenda Garibay and I am a second year at the University of California, Davis. My current major is biological sciences with an emphasis in neurobiology, physiology, and behavior. I am also trying to pursue a minor in education. Although it seems as if I have planned out my future at UC Davis, my decision to attend UC Davis was unplanned. Applying to UC Davis was a complete accident. While I was applying to colleges my senior year of high school, I decided that I was going to go to a community college instead. Although I was sure that I was going to attend a nearby community college, I still applied to a couple of four- year universities because my  parents had no clue that I decided I wanted to go to a community college. Overall, I didn’t think I would get into any universities so I just applied to them randomly. I applied to UC Santa Barbara because I heard that it was a fun school to attend and that it was a beautiful campus. I applied to UC Irvine because it was close to my hometown. UC Davis, on the other hand, was a complete accident! I thought I applied to UC San Diego, but I mixed the names up.

So, I received an acceptance letter from UC Davis. I had no idea where or what type of school UC Davis was. I received a flyer about Decision Day! That’s when I decided I should go visit this mysterious school. My parents and I drove the 7 hours to Davis. I immediately loved the campus. The atmosphere was open, warm, and comfortable. Walking along the campus, I saw an array of colors moving fast as light along the roads. They were bikes! The campus was just so alive. After the tour, I talked with a College of Biological Sciences adviser. I had no idea what I wanted to major in, and the adviser only made me feel more comfortable that it was okay to not know. Decision day helped me to decide that I wanted to attend UC Davis, even though leaving home was the most difficult decision I have made thus far. I also had the opportunity to attend a summer program called STEP. This program provided about 125 students with a month-long summer program in which the students took preparatory classes, stayed in dorms, and were introduced to all of the available resources on campus. This program made the transition from high school to college a little less stressful. Overall, I didn’t choose the school, but the school chose me.

Brenda Garibay

Second year

Biological Sciences

BASC Peer Advisor

Ride with Aggie Pride

Congratulations, high school is over and you have made your parents proud by getting accepted to several colleges. Perhaps you are considering UC Davis because your buddy also applied, or your siblings got their degree here, or simply because it is closer to home. If you are unsure exactly why you might choose UC Davis, perhaps I can help by sharing what sealed the deal for me.

Let’s start off with the smaller details to the larger picture:

  1. Location: The proximity of Davis to home (in my case, San Francisco) was just right personally. It wasn’t so far that I would have to book a flight to visit the parents during the holidays, but at the same time it gave me a decent amount of distance from my parents to exercise my new-found “independence”.
  2. The campus: Open your eyes to the pristine green scenery around the school. Not only are bike-rides in campus and around town safe and relaxing, they will also save you money and help you keep fit! The campus offers many places to concentrate and focus on studying, but Downtown Davis is just a few blocks away from campus if you and your friends are looking for a night out! Things to check out when you visit the campus: the Arboretum, the Mondavi Center, and the Memorial Union.
  3. The vibe: People you see around the campus are friendly, always down to help, and usually carry around a positive/chill attitude. With the amount of ethnic and sexuality awareness on campus, our students are kept comfortable and safe from harassment.
  4. Diversity:  Education exists beyond the boundaries of lecture halls; as a student you will be exposed to other cultures and ethnic groups which will prove to be extremely valuable to your professional career later on. Globalism is present and real on this campus.
  5. A tailored-learning experience: Besides offering more than 100 undergraduate majors and 113 minors, UC Davis also provides many resources for its students. These resources will help you navigate through your classes, your career, and the journey to a well-rounded you. For further reading about such resources, refer to

Now that I am midway through my third year at UC Davis, I have made lifelong friendships, joined an exciting a cappella group, experienced undergraduate research, and got hired as a peer adviser. Through being a part of the Pre-Dental Society and shadowing dentists at internships provided by the Internship and Career Center on campus, I am glad to say that I have found a career I would love pursuing after college. In hindsight with regards to my decision to join the Aggie Family, I would not want to have it any other way.

A tour of UC Davis is highly recommended. Do not hesitate to take your time to explore whether or not this school is a good fit for your academic pursuits and personality. And whatever school you end up choosing, the most important thing is to put yourself out there and GET INVOLVED.

Best of luck to you,

Wilson Ng
Peer Adviser
Biology Academic Success Center
Microbiology, Class of 2015

To be an Aggie, or not to be?: Why I Chose UC Davis

UCD watertower

Ordinarily, I am not one for procrastination. Nevertheless, it was the day of the deadline to submit my SIR to the UC of my choice, and truth be told, I wasn’t much closer to a final decision than I was when acceptance (and rejection) letters had just been sent out.

I hadn’t discussed my options with my parents because talking about it out loud came with a certain sense of reality/finality that I just wasn’t too thrilled about – I am truly indecisive. This is somewhat of a setback when faced with the rather large, life-changing decision of choosing which college is right for you. But fear not; it can be done!

I had been going back and forth between two schools: UC San Diego and UC Davis. I had made a mental pros-and-cons list in my head, because putting it on paper made it too real.

Tip #1: Write out your pros-and-cons list on paper! Although it might seem intimidating to actually see your reasons listed out side-by-side, this will be extremely helpful to your decision-making process in getting your initial thoughts out of your head.

I had all the big, obvious reasons on my list – closeness to home, environment, academics, my major of interest, etc. – but it was difficult to know which reasons weighed more than others. Whenever I thought that I was close to a final answer, I talked myself out of it and I was back to square one again.

Tip #2: Don’t procrastinate! The decision-making process takes time, and you’ll benefit from a clear mind without the added pressure of a deadline. It can get overwhelming at times, so it might be helpful to take a break from decision-making every so often to get a fresh perspective.

It was a Friday afternoon and my SIR was due by midnight; I was running out of time. I finally decided to consult my older sister – who better to help me with such a huge decision than someone who has known me my entire life?

Tip #3: Talk to someone! It’s easy to become lost in your thoughts after a while, so it’s helpful to get someone else’s perspective and input – especially if they know you well.

“Picture yourself in one year: where are you?” My answer surprised myself; while I had previously assumed that I would picture myself in sunny SoCal, studying on the beaches of UCSD, I instead instinctively saw myself surrounded by hordes of bicyclists and the green, open campus of UC Davis.

Tip #4: Close your eyes and actually try to picture yourself at school and the type of environment you see yourself in. It might seem silly, but trying to visualize where you’ll physically be in the future can help to find the college that is the best fit for you.

Centennial walk in the quad

After a lengthy discussion and a few more back-and-forths, I had finally made my decision. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it; it wasn’t one singular reason over another that made me choose UC Davis, but more of a general, inexplicable feeling that I had. Although, it didn’t hurt that Davis was the perfect distance from home for me – close enough for comfort, but far enough to be independent; and the College of Biological Sciences offered specific majors that were particularly interesting to me – Exercise Biology (EXB) and Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior (NPB). For these reasons, it did not bother me as much when my classmates were surprised that I had chosen UC Davis over UC San Diego, as going to SoCal was apparently the “thing to do.” I was happy with my decision and excited to spend the next four years of my life at the college of my choice.


Kimberlee Hu
BASC Peer Adviser
Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior
Class of 2014

Why UC Davis?

The friendliness toward bikes, the indoor track at the Activities and Recreation Center, and the various plant collections at the Arboretum gardens are a few of the things I’ve come to love about the University of California, Davis. However, my appreciation toward these characteristics came after the fact, and there were other things I chose to consider when I first decided to attend UC Davis.

Choosing which university to attend is difficult; when you’re making a two- to four-year commitment, you have to consider a multitude of details. Does the location suit your needs? Do they have a gym? How does transportation work? Will you receive a quality education in your field of interest? As you begin to look into these details, you realize that some resources matter more to you than others, and that some universities have qualities that you hadn’t even considered and must now take into account.

Whether you feel pretty sure about your decision to attend UC Davis or you’re still on the fence about it, I’ll enumerate some of the reasons I chose the university here:

  1. Bike-friendliness.

The thought that even on lazy days you can bike around campus is comforting. Exercise is crucial to everyone’s well-being. There are traffic lights that signal for bikes, roundabouts for bikes, a dozen or so bike shops around town, and a myriad of parking spaces for bikes around the campus and city. Using a bike to get around is environmentally friendly, which is great, and also quicker than walking. Buying a bike to use while attending UC Davis is a great idea, but there are also accommodating ways to travel for those who are not interested in biking, which brings me to my next point:

  1. Transportation. One of the great things about attending UC Davis is the ease of finding transportation. Both Unitrans and Yolobus are free to students. The Unitrans bus system transports students around the city of Davis from the campus. One of them is even a restored London double-decker bus! For me, it was great knowing I could ride the Yolobus to Sacramento, Woodland, Winters, or Vacaville, without having to pay extra or worry about parking my car.
  1. Competitive ranking. UC Davis is currently tied with UC San Diego in the national rankings for best public schools, making it tied for third place overall in California. Personally, I’ve had professors that are very involved in research and are established in their respective fields. More information about the research at this campus can be found here:
  2. Environment. The people are open and active, the school as a whole is environmentally friendly, and the classrooms are filled with students who are as academically driven as you. I wanted an environment that would challenge me while providing me with the necessary resources to relax as needed.

You can access a list of stress-relieving campus resources here:

M. Joan Castañeda
Peer Adviser, Biology Academic Success Center
B.S. Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, Class of 2014