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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

In Transition: C-C-Cache

“UC Davis Life Hacks.” Now there’s an article I would have really appreciated reading as a CCC student. Before I transferred here, I had a lot of fears, anticipations and ultimately false ideas of what UC Davis was like and what life as a UC student would entail.

Before transferring, I always felt like there were these tidbits of information that were completely inaccessible to me.

I didn’t have a lot of friends attending UCs that I could turn to for advice, I knew no one at my CCC would be able to guide me and I didn’t place a lot of confidence in anything I’d read online about student life or the perils of the UC system.

Now that I’ve been here for over a year, almost all of my questions, concerns and anxieties have been remedied. As comforting as that is, I still really would have appreciated a heads up on some of those things.

So here it is.

Dear 2012 Transfer Student Sarah,

Hi there. I know you’ve been working very hard at your CCC and that you have some concerns about your upcoming transition into UC life. I also know that you’re probably too intimidated to talk about these issues because they seem rather silly.

But don’t worry, I’ve got all the answers for you! The first one being, yes, some of your concerns about UC life are hilariously dopey. So let’s all take a second to laugh at you. Ha ha ha.

Ok, moving on.

1. Not all of your UC classes will be filled with hundreds of students in gigantic lecture halls. The majority of your classes will only have 30 to 40 people in them and you’ll all sit in these really uncomfortable desk things. In the winter, all of the seats will be wet from the rain and in the summer, your thighs will literally stick to them. Enjoy.

2. Not every UC student is smart. You don’t need to be intimidated. Every class, every discussion and every lecture will always produce that one student who can’t comprehend the fact that a syllabus lists the date, the topic of discussion and then the homework assignment due before the next class.

Yes this is a true story and yes this will happen more than once.

Also, the UCs employ this cool thing called “discussion.” It’s a mode of teaching that catalyzes students to take control of the direction of a class. It’s cool and it’ll show you that, just like at your CCC, there are a lot of students who are smarter than you and some that are dumber.

3. You are going to be required to do some work outside of class, but no one will really explain this to you. Obviously, you’ll have homework assignments to do — but you’re also going to have to spend some time catching up.

There will be a bit of a gap in your education that you’ll need to bridge — on your own time. Your CCC didn’t teach you everything you need to know and your UC assumes you have a certain foundation of knowledge. That disparity is going to require some outside work. Sorry.

4. It won’t be that hard to get into contact with the important people. Because your classes only have 30 to 40 students in them, your professors will know who you are and will want to talk to you in office hours.

There are also these neat people called “TAs” that you haven’t experienced before. They’re great.

Your academic advisors also aren’t that difficult to get into contact with. Even cooler, they’re actually helpful here. They won’t just hand you a piece of paper with a list of required classes. They have advice, guidance and knowledge.

Ugh, and good luck finding the Letters & Science advising office. Again, we’ll take a moment to laugh at you.

5. Don’t freak out and yes you can do this. This can be a terribly intimidating process. But this can also be the best experience of your life. And I think it will be.

I hope this helps you a bit.


Future Spring 2014 Graduate Sarah


If you have any other nuggets of advice for either 2012 Future Transfer student, or 2014 Future Graduate SARAH MARSHALL, email her at smmarshall@ucdavis.edu.



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