Refresh…click…refresh – I sat looking at my UC Application, wondering which college would admit me and where I would continue my education for the next four years of my life. As soon as March rolled around and decisions were delivered, this was the only thing on my mind; I obsessively clicked away trying to figure out which colleges I would have to choose from. I remember sitting in the lobby of the Holiday Inn while on vacation, finally seeing what my options were. Like many students, I ended up applying to all the UCs because I was told it would improve my chances but I did not do my research on almost any of them. Ultimately, I ended up choosing UCD but it was for all of the wrong reasons.
The reason I choose Davis at the onset was because truthfully, I thought it would be easier academically because it was lesser known. It turns out that is not the case. UC Davis is in fact challenging in its academic rigor as well as pushes students to the height of their potential, preparing them for their future careers appropriately. Ultimately, choosing a school based on perceptions might not be the best method to make such a momentous decision. What ultimately made me love UC Davis the way I do is its beautiful environment; immensely nice people; engaging college atmosphere and youthful culture.
Fast forward to today, I am currently a fourth-year Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major pursuing a career in medicine. UC Davis has treated me well from the onset; starting as a freshman, I quickly and smoothly made friends in the dorms and acclimated to life as a college student. The friendly environment coupled with the informative resident and academic advising allowed me to thrive socially, academically and personally. During my first year I utilized all of the tutoring services that UC Davis had to offer as well as the professors and TAs, who always made themselves available to students whenever they needed extra help.
After becoming comfortable, it became easier to add on more to my academic workload and pursue activities that interested me. These activities included joining volunteer clubs; community service groups; intramural sports; securing a part-time job as a Peer Adviser, professional groups and many other things the campus had to offer. My story is not unlike my peers and the important takeaways are that UC Davis fosters an environment that encourages involvement, an active college experience, and the pursuit of academic excellence.
I became a better person by getting involved, pushing myself academically and engaging in discussions with like-minded scholars and renowned professors. UC Davis has allowed me to discover myself and uncover the kind of person that I want to be after my undergraduate career. I encourage everyone reading this to drop preconceived notions they might have about a campus or university and actually go out and experience it. Without visiting Davis, experiencing the place for myself and giving it a chance, I know I would have regretted my decision. Looking back on it now, I am amazed that my misperception turned out to be such a fortuitous decision that allowed me to grow as both a man and scholar and brought me closer to my career at the same time.
Biological Academic Success Center Peer Adviser
Fourth Year, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major