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Davis, California

Sunday, March 3, 2024

In Transition: C-C-Comparable

Now that I’ve been at UC Davis for over a year, I’ve noted some of the similarities between the University and my California Community College (CCC). Needless to say, I was fairly surprised to find any resemblances after making — what felt like — such a large-scale change.

I first discovered this feeling of familiarity after I transferred to UC Davis and started registering for classes. After I had completed all my GEs, all I had left to finish were classes for my major and minor.

Flashback to my last few semesters at community college: I was slightly more than compulsive when it came to registration, class requirements and degrees. I wanted to ensure that I hadn’t missed anything and could make a sweet and simple transition out.

So, I had become all too familiar with the Associate Degree requirements and subsequent class requirements. Navigating through UC Davis’ Majors & Minors page felt like déjà vu.

I had essentially been my own academic counselor and dean all through community college, and nothing has really changed since I’ve transferred to UC Davis.

By the time I’d even made an appointment with my Letters & Science counselor, I already knew what she’d say — because I’d spent hours figuring it out on my own.

Regardless, it’s nice to know I don’t have to.

I discovered this feeling of familiarity again as I purchased books for my first quarter of classes here. There’s nothing quite like overpaying for required materials that makes you appreciate the opportunity of education.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover this feeling yet again during office hours.

Naïve I may be, but before I transferred here, I had this grandiose idea of a UC education in my mind. Classes filled to the brim, hundreds of desks compressed in enormous lecture halls, lecture slides popping up from miles away.

I assumed that transferring to a school filled with over 30,000 students meant transferring to a school where I’d get lost.

I was shocked to walk into my first English class to find 40 students sitting comfortably in desks (well, as comfortably as you can sit in the desks in Olson Hall).

More so, I was absolutely ecstatic when I attended my first office hours session.

I utilized office hours a lot during my time at community college. With a 16 week semester, you’re bound to miss a class or two, or need additional help.

With a 10 week quarter, I’ve become a regular during professors’ office hours. I appreciate the one-on-one time and the chance to ask additional questions without eating up class time.

Additionally, I was slightly taken aback by how many students offered after-class help or invited me to a study group.

Recall my naïve, grandiose picture of UC Davis.

At community college, we often worked together in groups — not necessarily for the sake of supplementing our education, though. CCCs love to assign group projects as a means of teaching students how to “work with others” — and minimize teachers’ workload.

And as you near the end of your general education at a CCC, you’ll start to recognize the same people over and over again in your classes, or meet new people who are repeating a class — and have a heads up on the final.

So, we’d get together to study during our breaks before class, before finals week, or try to squeeze in some time between multiple jobs and internships.

It wasn’t exactly pleasant, but it got the job done.

It’s an incredibly wonderful sight to see UC Davis students practicing the same tactics, but at the benefit of education not convenience of schedule.

Overall, it’s a familiar sight.

Students pursuing education as a means of actualizing and appreciating opportunity while building lifelong relationships and skills. What more could I ask for?

(Special shoutout to Peter J. Shields. PJS: Pretty Joyful Studybud.)


To add to this list of similarities, email SARAH MARSHALL at smmarshall@ucdavis.edu. You can also check out Conrad’s Corner on YouTube to hear Sarah’s KDVS interview on the CCCs from last week.



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