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Davis, California

Friday, May 17, 2024

You know you graduated from UC Davis if …

After spending years traversing the bike paths of campus and halls of Wellman and the Sciences Lab Building, graduating seniors have learned a thing or two about the ins and outs of campus life. Read on for proof that you have, in fact, graduated from UC Davis.

1. You have an entirely new appreciation for a bicycle.

Throughout your four years at Davis, you and your bicycle (or bicycles if you had one or two stolen) have had quite a journey. Back during your first year, you not only had to relearn how to ride a bike because you hadn’t ridden one since you were 12, but you also had to learn how to use hand signals, how to follow bike-designated traffic lights and remember to use a bike light in the dark.

When you had a question about your bike, the Bike Barn was right there on campus. Amelia Badish, a junior international relations major and the Bike Barn student manager said the weirdest questions the Bike Barn has ever had students ask about their bikes were: “How do I make my bike go faster?” and “Can you tighten my tube?” Hopefully, by the time you became a senior you figured those questions out.

Whether you are biking to class, to a friend’s apartment, to the Farmers Market or to anywhere else in Davis, your bike has transformed from something that sits in the garage and collects dust to your primary mode of transportation.

2. You have a drawer full of Aggie Pack freebies and aren’t ashamed to admit it.

Yes, Aggies have school spirit and yes, we care about whether our athletic teams win or lose (we’re looking at you, Stanford!) But might there be another reason why our various stadiums and sports fields are filled with cheering undergrads every weekend?

The ubiquitous Aggie Pack can take most of the credit for that feat, and with their ever-popular giveaways and infectious energy, it’s easy to see why. UC Davis’ official student spirit organization is synonymous with “free stuff” for many students, who come to games for a chance to snag the blue and gold beads, tube socks and official Aggie Pack shirts that Aggie Pack emcees, such as three-year veteran Adam Darbonne, throw into the crowd.

“The craziest time is when we give away free pizza. People are climbing over each other, getting on each others’ backs and doing anything they can to get that pizza,” Darbonne said, who will graduate this month with degrees in religious studies and history. “It’s been a blast. There’s nothing like yelling at 50,000 people and having them yell back.”

3. You have taken some crazy courses to fulfill your GE requirements.

From Intro to Wine Making, Intro to Brewing and Beer and Food Science and Folklore, to Human Sexuality and Tractor Driving, UC Davis offers some pretty unique classes.

Many students take these classes in order to fulfill their general education requirements for their college or often, others just take them because they are fun classes where you get to learn interesting information that you would not learn otherwise.

Erica McMilin, a sophomore Native American studies major, who is taking Intro to Wine Making this quarter, said the class is a great experience. “The material is really interesting. You get to learn all about the different kinds of wine from around the world and how wine is made. Douglas Adams, our professor, is also really cool and he makes the class fun,” McMilin said.

Tritia Tang, a senior Native American studies major also in the class, agrees that the professor makes it really fun. “He adds in tidbits throughout class like ‘Wine is healthy, in moderation.'”

4. You’ve attempted to milk – or tip or pet or take pictures with or observe the intestines of – a cow (and you grew up in the city).

With a dairy barn sandwiched between dorm buildings and a history as the former “University Farm,” it’s no wonder UC Davis has earned a reputation for being a “cow town.” But junior animal science major and head resident of UC Davis Beef Facilities Amanda Sawyer said it’s not unusual for born and bred city folks to discover a love of livestock after coming to UC Davis.

“I have seen many a city person who has no experience with livestock at all, let alone cattle, that come out [to animal science classes] because ‘the class looked fun’ or they wanted to know more about cattle,” Sawyer said in an e-mail interview. “A lot of that comes from the presence of cattle on campus and the embrace that the community has of them.”

5. You and your friends have gone on a trip through Outdoor Adventures.

Outdoor Adventures, located on campus on California Avenue next to the Bike Barn, allows students to take some fun weekend trips with their friends.

The popularity of the trips depends on the season. In the spring and summer, the most popular trips are usually water-based, such as whitewater rafting or sea kayaking. In the fall, the most popular are rock climbing and backpacking trips. And during the winter, the most popular trip is almost always snow camping.

Outdoor Adventures Assistant Director Jordy Margid said the best part of any trip is always the strong friendships formed among students.

“For sure, it’s the camaraderie that develops on the trips. Everyone is really supportive of each other and participants develop great friendships with other students who share common interests,” Margid said.

CLAIRE MALDARELLI and ERIN MIGDOL can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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