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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Column: Be happy

Being Editor in Chief of The California Aggie over the last 12 months has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and has really helped put things in perspective. I’ve learned so much that I feel compelled to impart this knowledge to the seven people that will actually read this column. (Hi Mom!)

1) Haters gonna hate: Every issue has two or more sides. Every side has multiple passionate supporters. These people will be outraged if you don’t support their point of view and only mildly grateful if you do. I have nothing against haters. Their purpose in life is to hate. Would you blame a writer for writing or a player for playin’?

The problem with haters is that they don’t get it. Even worse, they don’t get that they don’t get it. As a result, they don’t succumb to silly things like logic or reason. They are correct. Period.

So, this begs the question, “What do I do?” People gonna hate no matter what, so always trust your judgment and do what you think is best. Sounds cheesy, right? Wrong. Well … kinda right, but it’s still true.

2) Eat at the DC: For those who stayed in the dorms here at UC Davis, this is a commonly accepted notion. For those of us who transferred here, this is an important lesson best learned swiftly. Simply find somebody with swipes, then befriend or blackmail them so they can get you in for free.

I know, I know. You’re saying that I can buy a meal plan and swipe myself in. I say, this isn’t Narnia, friend. We’re in the real world where swipes practically fall from trees. I’m not going to purchase a “weird black sticky stuff” plan. That stuff falls on my car ALL THE TIME for free.

3) Pay attention and do stuff: Stuff is always happening on campus. Rallies, protests, concerts, conventions, etc. If your normal routine is: wake up, eat Pop-Tart, bike to class, play Sporcle in class, bike home, eat pizza, watch TV, sleep and repeat, I have just two things to say: Wanna trade? And: Sike, your life sucks. Except for the Pop-Tarts and Sporcle. Those things are awesome.

Anyways, if you’re stuck in a rut, do something. The California Aggie, for one, is always looking for talented writers, photographers, sales clerks, graphic artists and copyreaders, to name a few. If journalism isn’t your thing, there are tons of clubs, organizations, committees, commissions and businesses looking for good people like you. I know the thought of missing an episode of “The Biggest Loser” is scary, but it feels better to cut the cord and do something productive. Trust me.

4) Be positive and have respect: Next to “haters gonna hate,” this is the most important lesson to be learned. This is a university. A damn good one, too. As a result, every different point of view is represented in some way. This means that disagreements will arise, but do not worry, dear reader. Disagreements are good – they inspire change and make the world a better place.

However, there are two distinctly different disagreement classifications: Productive, and stupid. A stupid disagreement is usually, but doesn’t have to be, violent. It typically involves two or more haters hating on each other until things boil over. Prime example: bar fights.

On the flip side, a productive disagreement has one important feature that a stupid disagreement does not: respect. I think it was Conan O’Brien who said, “All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism – it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”

Another favorite quote of mine (yes, we’ve entered the favorite quote section of the column) is from Lou Holtz. He said, “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond.”

If you combine these two nuggets of wisdom, you get one hell of an outlook on life. Work hard, stay positive, be respectful, take responsibility for your actions and, always, no matter what, be happy.

MARK LING can be reached … nowhere! Send your hate to next year’s Editor in Chief, Jason Alpert. He can be reached at editor@thaggie.org.


  1. Reminds me of a quote from The Stranger: “Maman used to say that you can always find something to be happy bout”


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