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Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Students complete #77DaysofDavis to mark last quarter of college

Students fill their 10-week quarters with academics: lecture, study, jobs, internships and if they’re lucky maybe a few social events here and there. The quarter system is wrought with chaotic deadlines, exams and constant scheduling. However, an online platform called 77 Days of Davis is spreading throughout campus to motivate students to be spontaneous and introspective, and to take advantage of their Spring Quarter.

Fourth-year political science major Ting Jung (TJ) Lee was inspired during finals week last winter to create a bucket list of activities she had always wanted to do. The bucket list would be for her last quarter of college. With the design and advertising help of friends and her own determination, she was able to launch the website, social media and checklist design for students to fill out.

“I’m a senior so I started to feel the senior anxiety of worrying so much about what I was going to do after college. It was about mid-March when I [realized] I worried two-thirds of my senior year away,” Lee said. “I was faced with a quarter and a half left so I thought of writing a bucket list of things I actually want to do in college that I would share with a friend. Then I thought how fun it would be if everyone had their own bucket list so we could share one with everyone and be inspired by things they want to do.”

Students participating in 77 Days of Davis fill out their own checklist of activities or goals, take pictures to document each accomplishment and then upload and share that moment on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, including the hashtag #77DaysofDavis. Ideally, each student will complete his or her checklist by the end of Spring Quarter on June 12.

According to Lee, the name was inspired by the fact there are only 77 days in Spring Quarter, and this “movement” is to make students aware of their limited time, not only in school but in life. Though the activities might range from vague to specific and complex, she hopes the process is meaningful to students and a simple checklist is a starting point for challenging themselves in the future.

“This whole [event] is to show students that yes you need to study but you also need to dedicate time towards things like this, you need to create unforgettable memories, you need to dedicate time to yourself,” Lee said. “[It feels like] everyone in college develops a habit of procrastinating on homework but what we do with homework we also do on living. We procrastinate on living. Our happiness in college and life in general is not something we can postpone for the future or procrastinate on like our homework. It’s something we have to design for the present.”

Fourth-year psychology and communications double major and 77 Days of Davis participant, Lana Luong, said the name and the reason behind this event is important, especially for seniors.

“I didn’t know that there were 77 days left until graduation and when you put that number out there it sounds so much shorter than having a whole quarter,” Luong said. “It’s made me reflect back on how I actually don’t have much time left so it’s motivated me to do more things other than school and work. I think this is a really great way to make something very ordinary like a regular quarter into something that could be very memorable. For me I’ll always remember this 77 Days of Davis, even if it wasn’t my last quarter, as the time when I joined that and got that list done full of things I’ve wanted to do and it wasn’t just a random quarter passing by.”

According to third-year design and economics double major and designer of the 77 Days of Davis website Christine Gan, Lee reached out to her over a bowl of pho and was instantly interested in aiding her in the design process.

“TJ did an absolutely wonderful job capturing the ‘handmade’ and ‘student-started’ atmosphere in the design of the website, I simply helped fine tune the color scheme and design the checklist [but] overall, [we] just wanted something that looked like it was created by a student and created for a student!” Gan said in an email.

She also agrees with Lee that a platform like this is to share experiences in response to the notion that students are busy and often don’t make time for themselves.

“I really believe #77DaysofDavis exists to help students realize that in these four years they should not only gain a college education, but also a true college experience,” Gan said. “Whether it be a freshman, a senior, a student or a professor — I think we all sometimes forget to really cherish the time we spend in college and we forget to make the most of each and everyday that we have. The college quarter can be a chaotic whirlwind at times, but I feel that it’s really important to slow down and focus on our own small little goals every now and then.”

This motivating and mobilizing aspect of 77 Days of Davis is exactly what has Lee calling it a “movement.”

“I call it a ‘movement’ because the idea is to get students to move towards spending time for themselves, doing things that will make them happy as opposed to staying where they are right now, doing the same exact thing, focusing on school and then the next thing you know it’s the end of the quarter. Then in between just doing regular things like studying, partying, drinking, studying, partying, drinking; just doing the very basic thing and never ever stepping out of it,” Lee said.

Lee has already collaborated with AggieTV to put together a short advertisement with clips full of students participating in activities from the Davis Trinity to skydiving. Lee gave examples of people interpreting the list in a variety of ways, from small visits to a local restaurant to making a list of people they want to meet. Students are already becoming motivated to try new things, herself included.

“I always wanted to study abroad but I never applied for it,” Lee said. “So I put it on the list and that actually pushed me to fill out the application and get the pieces together so now I’m studying abroad in the UK this summer. For a lot of people you just need a little push and a little motivation to get you to start doing things.”

Designed checklists are available online through the website, downtown at Pachamama, and Teabo as well as on campus at the Memorial Union Corral and Pro-Shop at the ARC.

SEAN GUERRA can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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