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Davis

Davis, California

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Column: Save a horse, ride a cowboy

UC Davis class of 2015 – dump your high school girlfriend. If there is one thing that I have learned about the world in my two years at a top university, it’s that committed relationships are bad. If there is one thing I have learned about myself, it’s that I will work very hard to de-commit any monogamous soul whose fate has crossed with my own.

If you were looking for a sign, this is it. This is your call to make out indiscriminately at frat parties.

This is your excuse to make your entire dorm floor feel uncomfortable after your roommate walks in on you and that guy from down the hall. (Him? Really?)

This is your chance, more or less, to figure out whom you would like to be. You have to believe me. I edit your school newspaper.

I mean this metaphorically, of course. High school girlfriends can be anything you’re holding on to. Maybe it’s your preconceived notions about underage drinking. Maybe it’s the illusive dream of calling yourself pre-med. Hell, maybe your high school girlfriend is really your mom.

I, myself, moved to Davis with a crippling attachment to J. Crew sweaters and alone time. On holiday breaks, I can still be found locked in my high school bedroom, wearing nothing but cashmere and noise cancelling headphones.

But now, in College Land, I write my first article of the year at Delta of Venus on B Street, wearing a pair of flower printed shorts I found on a bench near the arboretum. It’s reggae night.

While the used shorts and name-dropping of coffee shops makes me seem pretty settled, it took a lot of promiscuity.

This brings me to my second point of advice – ride anything you can.

This is not a metaphor.

Many of you have already bought the bicycle you hope to carry you through the next four years of higher education. I can tell you now that it won’t. It will be stolen and/or unrecognizably disfigured by an embarrassing crash at the intersection of North and West Quad. And that’s the good news.

For those who have come with a beach cruiser, you are going to look forward to Chemistry 2A. From now on, leave that clunker unlocked in public places. Take a long, scenic bike ride over a bed of nails. Do anything you can to need a new bicycle, and then get something that is a little less difficult to ride.

Now I will make it a metaphor: Stick your hands up and ride the roller coaster that is the emotional and experiential trippiness of becoming an adult. And another one: Save a horse, ride a cowboy.

My final point is one of fact. The most important thing you can do as a college freshman is apply to work at The California Aggie. We are, after all, really important. A bastion of fact-finding, grammatically-correct cool, 25 Lower Freeborn gushes out internship credit and smells like good times.

You too could someday write an ill-advised editorial to the freshman class … after, of course, a lot of sleeping around.

BECKY PETERSON really would like to hire you. She can be reached at managing@theaggie.org.

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