My UC Davis Experience

Although my application to UC Davis was a mistake, it was the best mistake I have ever made. When I was applying to colleges, I temporarily decided I would attend a community college instead of a 4-year institution. However, my mom suggested I still use my free applications as a plan B; my mom is always right. When I was applying to 4-year schools, I thought I had applied to UC San Diego instead of UC Davis. I did not even consider applying to UC Davis, but when I received an acceptance letter, I visited UC Davis and knew it was the right one for me.

As I amuc-davis-aggies_f now a third year at UC Davis, my three years have been filled with many amazing experiences. During my first year in Davis, I focused on getting situated with the campus and my classes. I was originally Undeclared, but I always had a passion for the sciences. Although I did not know what I would major in, I continued along with science courses and eventually landed in the Biological Sciences major.  I like the flexibility within this major. I have the choice to choose among various classes and emphases. Towards the end of my first year, I began to apply for multiple positions on campus, but I was not sure what I was looking for. Did I want to help people ? Work in an office? Work in a fast food chain? I applied to everything !! I luckily got a call from the College of Biological Sciences for a peer adviser position. This has been a wonderful job, as I have met amazing people and realized I enjoy helping others. This led to my next big decision, which career to pursue. Another amazing opportunity offered at UC Davis are the internships under the Internship and Career Center. I participated in a health related internship at the UCD Medical Center for two quarters. I worked one on one with children who were patients at the hospital, and because of this internship I realized I wanted to pursue a career in nursing.  I loved helping the children and learning what the nurses are doing to assist them.cheering_students

Overall, my biggest accomplishment in Davis is leaving home and being successful supporting myself. I work, attend school, and pay for all of my expenses. Although, I love my family and visit them any chance I have, I enjoy the idea of being independent and figuring plans out on my own. Luckily, I still have two more years to become more involved in the health field to gain more experience.

Brenda Garibay

Biological Academic Success Center Peer Adviser

Third Year, Biological Sciences Major: Emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

Final destination: UC Davis

Happy April everyone! April is a beautiful month; flowers are blooming, trees gain foliage, and the sun is out. However, if you are a high school senior, April brings with it a whole new meaning. April means DECISIONS. Sounds exciting right? Maybe? I understand. As I recall, April was a tough month for me as a senior because although I was excited about my college acceptances, I had NO IDEA what decision to make. I had it narrowed down to two schools, one of which was UC Davis. My road to UC Davis was a little unconventional, so hang on as I tell the tale!07-cheering

1. Narrowing it down

As I mentioned, I was able to narrow down my choice to two schools. I did this based solely on the Biology program. As it turned out, not all of the schools that I applied to had strong Biology programs. Also, some schools had strong programs but I didn’t feel a strong pull towards them. Those were quickly eliminated and voila, UC Davis survived due to its strong Biology program.

2. Meeting with people to talk

Remember how I said that April was a rough month for me? I was quite stressed, so I decided to meet with a professor at UC Davis. I was fortunate enough that my mom knew him and he lived in my hometown so I went to his house to talk. For those of you who would like to speak with professors and don’t have any personal connections, email is a great way to communicate with them and ask any specific questions you may have! This professor had great things to say and I had a lot of questions answered, but I was still torn.

3. Flying across the country

I had to give my other school some attention too, so I flew to its version of “Decision Day” and airplanespent three days on the campus. I had a great time there, but I found myself comparing it to UC Davis A LOT and saying things like “yeah but UC Davis has….” or “well UC Davis has this too…”. Then, I went to a grassy area in the center of campus and just stood there. I stood there and tried to imagine myself there. Something felt a little wrong about it but not wrong enough to eliminate it from the list just yet. I felt so much better coming home after that trip knowing that in the end when I made my choice, it would be a much more educated decision. Every college that you are accepted to should have its own version of Decision Day, and I highly recommend attending if possible because it truly helps you make your decision.

4. Driving North

Well, since I flew across the country to visit one school, it only made sense to drive an hour North to visit UC Davis because believe it or not, I still had not made my decision. I attended Decision Day and I felt comfortable. I can’t say that anything specific drew me in to UC Davis yet because both schools had very strong programs and offered many of the same things in terms of academics. UC Davis did have a more spread out campus which I preferred because it felt more open unlike a big city. I left UC Davis that day feeling comfortable.

5. One last shot

After all of my efforts, I was still scared to make my final decision and the May 1st deadline was fast approaching. So, my friend invited me to Picnic Day. We went to Picnic Day which is this massive UC Davis tradition and it is so much fun. If any of you live in the area you should definitely make the trip out here to celebrate with us! UC Davis has many exciting traditions that make it unique. Once again, I felt comfortable on campus! I knew what to do.

6. The end

2048In the end, my decision to attend UC Davis was a culmination of many independent events. Each step listed above brought me a little bit closer towards making my decision. UC Davis had a great biology department, it was close to home, and the campus was beautiful. But most importantly, I was comfortable here. This may sound trivial but I knew that wherever I chose to go I would have to be there for four years. Ultimately being comfortable at UC Davis made me feel confident that I could last four years there.

Some of you may already know that UC Davis is the school for you and may have already committed to it. For some of you, Decision Day might be enough to convince you to go to UC Davis. But for those indecisive souls such as myself, I hope that my journey towards becoming an Aggie helps making your decision a lot easier.

I am so thankful that I chose UC Davis because I have made great friends, I can visit my family easily, I love my classes, my professors are brilliant, and I found a nice little niche as a peer adviser for the College of Biological Sciences. Additionally, I am making great progress towards my career goals here due to the many opportunities for internships and volunteer experiences offered by the Internship and Career Center. I love the person that I am becoming here.

Good luck everyone, and don’t fret if your decision takes time! Mine did too!

Daiana Bucio

3rd year Genetics & Genomics Major

Peer Adviser for the College of Biological Sciences

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.

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










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