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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

In Transition: C-C-Conclusion

It’s officially the last week of Winter Quarter, which means that I only have one quarter left here at UC Davis — and only one quarter left of college.

That’s terrifying.

As difficult as this journey has been, it truly has been some of the best years of my life. And with that, please let me introduce you to my alter ego, Sappy Sarah. She’s spent some time reminiscing and here’s what she has to say:

Being a transfer student is weird. I’ve already graduated from college once, but I still can’t believe my time at UC Davis is almost up. As I think about my college experience coming to a close, I consider myself lucky to have had two very different college experiences. Each one taught me different, but irreplaceable, life lessons; lessons that I hope will bear influence on the rest of my life.

As I prepare to graduate, I can’t help but think back to my community college graduation and reflect on my experiences at my CCC.

Attending community college completely opened my eyes to my own prejudices, incorrect assumptions and limited scope. I entered community college thinking that I would be taking mind-numbingly easy classes, filled with high school dropouts, a dim future and a lonely experience.

But what actually happened was quite different.

My classes were filled with students who were on the cusp of resuscitating their lives. I met students who were transitioning from stay-at-home roles to bread-winners, teenagers who had finally been freed from the annoyingly clichéd constraints of high school and students who were avidly returning to school after losing their jobs and reorganizing their lives.

I met people who were in transition and utilizing it to the best of their abilities. I truly was surrounded by a community of people just like me.

Albeit, at times it was incredibly frustrating. Seemingly useless assignments and ineffective teachers annoyed me to my core as I balanced 15 units of classes and 30 hours of work per week.

Feeling like I was attending a one-step-above-high-school institution, I didn’t get it. How could I have both the best and worst of it?

Now that I’m at a UC, I get it. I can also see that being a community college student and a UC student aren’t actually all that that different.

In addition to still having really cool professors and a plethora of unnecessary assignments, the UC life has taught me the true meaning of “cram,” “prioritize” and “ambition.”

UC Davis has taught me how to use my time in the most efficient way possible. 10 weeks feels like nothing, but somehow we manage to fill it with the seemingly most insane standards possible — standards that reinforce the diligent work ethic my CCC taught me.

UC Davis has taught me that I don’t need to do every single reading or assignment in a given class (please don’t tell my professors!) — a far cry from the type-A community college student I had been.

Combining my CCC and UC experiences has redefined the type of student I am. It has taught me that education truly does extend beyond the classroom.

I never thought I’d see the day that I found Shakespeare’s work pertinent to my life, but here I am finding my life filled with chiasmuses and soliloquies — well, really, just me babbling on and on about my life.

So, ultimately, college has taught me 5 things:

1. I should never walk into anything with a limited scope of possibilities.

2. I will almost always be surprised by the people that surround me; with their potential, determination and accomplishments.

3. There will always be unnecessary assignments of sorts in life. It’s not about being exact, it’s about being efficient; not focusing too much on the scope of any one thing, but applying it to every aspect of my life and absorbing as much of it as I can.

4. All work and no play makes Sarah a dull girl, but all play and no work makes Sarah a dumb girl. Balancing work and fun is key.

5. I can always manage to one-up previous Sappy Sarahs.

If you want add to Sappy SARAH MARSHALL’s list of college life lessons, email her at smmarshall@ucdavis.edu! You can also follow her writing at SarahMarshallUCD.tumblr.com.


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