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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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080603_op_parlan.C

Title: Gratitude

By REAGAN PARLAN

Life is not significant if it is not historic and momentous. I can say that my two-plus years at UC Davis have made my existence more meaningful and memorable. Being my last column for this illustrious publication before I graduate from this great institution, I would like to use this space to thank UC Davis and The California Aggie for opening my mind to the important lessons of reality.

I thank UC Davis for instilling me with the traits that are not only useful to survive college but also to go on with life. Through 10-page papers, cruel and monotonous professors and countless hours of cramming, I have mastered procrastination – that taking a break from the immense pressure of college work is desirable once in a while. But more than that, the constant struggle in college has developed my resilience and determination to keep my passion at a high level during times of hopelessness and uncertainty.

I thank UC Davis for showing me that a quality education comes with a high price. I am so fortunate to be educated in a world-class institution such as ours that is forged by the undying promise of California and its people. However, a top-notch education does not have to be expensive. Ten years ago, University of California students only needed a little over $4,000 for tuition. But after a decade, students need almost twice that amount to attend the UC. Is that the right tag for the “Best Public University System” seal in our transcripts? Where is the promise of affordable and accessible education? The UC must fulfill that promise.

I thank my brilliant and superior professors and lecturers for sharing the “food of the gods” to us. It is true that part of what we are depends on what we learn from our mentors. Their gifted minds have imbued me with pure knowledge and their unfathomable achievements have inspired me to keep traversing the path toward my goals and ambitions. I want to commend my exceptional man. econ. and IR professors whose bold, yet stirring challenges motivated what I want to do in my life.

Above all, I thank UC Davis for teaching me the lessons that are sometimes ignored within the four walls of the classrooms and lecture halls. Inside the classrooms, students are only educated with abstract theories about how to exist in perfection, which oftentimes obscures the actuality outside our comfort zones. Inequality, poverty, illiteracy, injustice and oppression still plague the world. I am so grateful that the economic, political and social theories from my courses have assisted me in opening my senses to these harsh realities and in comprehending the focal roles of young and educated people as part of the solution. This may sound too idealistic, but this is a very sensible and possible idea.

Lastly, I thank The California Aggie for believing in my ability to write and to continue what I always love to do. Being a columnist, I had the opportunity not only to shape public opinion, but also to stand for the things that I believe in even in the face of unforgiving criticisms and violent reactions. To the current and future columnists, continue to be critical and fearless of the issues that affect the students.

As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” More than ever, we need more brave pioneers who will dare and use their education to create solutions to the profound problems our world faces today. As young intellectuals, we can either take the roads most traveled or create new paths. My utmost gratitude goes to UC Davis for the enlightening power it has bequeathed to me, which will surely arm me in my search for new trajectories. The Aggie blood will continue to flow in my veins as long as I am alive.

Keep the flame burning!

If you want to send REAGAN F. PARLAN comments for the last time, or some graduation gifts, e-mail him at rfparlan@ucdavis.edu.XXX

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