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Davis, California

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Column: Give thanks

Every Thanksgiving I participate in my family’s tradition of writing down three things we are thankful for on a card. This is followed by passing the cards around, reading them aloud, and attempting to guess who has written each card. Although my submission last year of “bitches, money and mo’ bitches” was particularly popular, especially after it was mistakenly attributed to my grandma, I decided that this time around I might have to take the activity a little more seriously.

Realistically, there are many things we can be thankful for at our school. Half-priced coffee at the CoHo during finals week, being able to find a bike parking spot near the entrance to the library on a cold day and professors who cancel their class for no reason are all worthy of our appreciation.

Unfortunately, I promised to take this a bit more seriously, which is why I’m going to write about things every Davis student should actually take a moment to give thanks for. I know you’re thinking that sounds pretty sappy, but hear me out and I think you’ll appreciate it. Or stop reading now, I probably won’t notice.

Some people don’t think Davis is so great. If you end up downwind of Tercero, you’ll smell cows for hours on end or until you become immune to it. We don’t have any hills for admiring beautiful sunsets from. Our McDonald’s is one of those weird privately owned ones that doesn’t run all the promotions or even have a drive-thru. It may seem like I’ve just poked too many holes in my theory that Davis is worth being thankful for, but the redeeming factors lie in how well this location caters to us college kids.

While we don’t get to appreciate scenic vistas, we should be thankful Davis is flat. Being able to bike just about anywhere is a blessing few of us remember to appreciate. Try riding that fixed gear up and down hills beside the trolleys in SF and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Davis is friendly to more than just our bikes, however. Our taste buds and wallets are also thankful for the presence of the five dollar rolls of Oshio’s, the five dollar breakfast of Delta of Venus, and the five dollar footlong of Subway. There’s also our two dollar bowling alley and five dollar Tuesday movies. Any way you look at it, Davis is one of the last real college towns in America, and that’s worth appreciating.

Our campus is filled to the brim with under-appreciated resources. The Internship and Career Center offers help on resumes, organizes career fairs, holds on-campus interviews and will help individual students line up jobs specifically targeting their major. I am also told that there is a program on campus where hyper-literate students will literally edit your essay for you. Isn’t that against our honor pledge?

While I would no doubt prefer to have an on-campus water slide park (We could call it the Aggie Aquarium you guys, it would be so cool!), I guess we should probably give thanks for these sort of campus resources who try to help the students be productive, even if they’re a little less fun.

When making your thankfulness list, don’t limit yourself to the simple things. It’s easy to say I’m thankful for my bike, but that doesn’t mean it’s the thing that’s been most helpful to me recently. At the risk of breaking my promise against being sappy, I’m pretty damn thankful for the people around me, and you should be too.

With the value of our degrees in question, the friends we make at school are likely the most worthwhile thing we will come away with. I’m talking about the people who make beer runs because they’re sober for a test tomorrow, who went to that awkward faculty party with you so you wouldn’t feel weird, and who actively encourage and make acceptable the shenanigans we so regularly participate in. They are what we should be thankful for. Bitches, money, and mo’ bitches are great and all, but give me friends, hanging out, and mo’ friends any day.

AARON WEISS can be reached at atweiss@ucdavis.edu.


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