UC Davis is an incredible school. It wasn’t my first choice, and though I can’t say for sure, it may not have been yours either. I’ll admit my immature 17-year-old self wanted to be at the beach or at a big sports school. However, Davis is becoming a well-known school in the eyes of the public. It may be from the great pepper spray incident of 2011, from the cows, from the fact that it is not at the beach or not a big sports school. I’ve heard people over the years complaining about how there is nothing to do here, but that is simply not true.
Yes, you may have a friend at Santa Barbara who snapchats pictures of beach “studying” or huge parties on a Monday night. You may have a friend on the East Coast who appears to be doing Picnic Day every weekend. If you’re like me, this can be kind of upsetting. It is hard to see people doing stuff like this, but it really is better. We are in college to get a degree and be real human beings, and it is a lot easier without the constant distractions that come from schools like this.
I know it’s tough. I spent the first couple years of my time here explaining the city of Davis as exactly like my hometown Pleasanton, but replacing the soccer kids and their soccer moms with college-aged kids. I have always loved the school, but over the years I have learned more about how to make it just as fun as anyone else’s. It starts with doing the weekends right.
Here are some of the less obvious things to do this weekend that will change how you feel about the school.
- Go to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. A lot of people, including my former self, underutilize this. You don’t have to be the kind of person who grocery shops here to enjoy it. It’s basically a Costco you can walk to, with samples at every station. Get some Bolani samples, and a quart of the famous raw apple juice. Sit on the grass and look at (and play with) all the really good-looking dogs.
- Go on the free and for sale DC swipes page and go with a big group to weekend brunch. If you don’t remember, they have a make your own omelette bar, unlimited coffee and POG juice, and you may even see your high school friend’s little sister who you knew as a seventh grader and who is now a sorority girl (this is scary and has happened to me all too often).
- Play a game of campus capture the flag. It took me until fall quarter of my senior year to discover this, so I need to share it with you before it’s too late. You are absolutely NOT too old for this. Grab some friends and make teams. Set some boundaries and make sure to include the Death Star (I could write an entire article on why this is good for hiding, but you probably have already lived the nightmare). You’ll get some exercise and feel young again. Take this seriously though, make sure to have some strategies, a substantial prize and an exclusive team group text or bird call.
- Go outdoors in the daytime. It appears winter has left already, and Davis is the perfect springtime campus. Specifically on Fridays, go hang out in the MU quad area. There is something about a sunny day with a CoHo baked potato and a lemonade that really brings in the weekend. Bring a football or a frisbee or a whatever you’re into.
- Go outdoors in the evening. A great man, Sean William Scott AKA “Country Mac” once said, “Sure there’s bad stuff, but what about sunsets?” Davis is famous for some pretty awesome ones, and you are not too cool to enjoy them.
- Hang out with your friend in an apartment complex. They will have a pool and a hot tub. You can use the pool in the daytime while the Rec Pool is still closed. Ask them to put otter pops in the freezer hours before you arrive: this is very crucial. You can use the hot tub at nights and talk about life or play truth or dare or whatever. If you don’t have a friend in an apartment complex, use the Davis weekend to get drunk and meet one. People are pretty friendly, but no personality would make the friendship not worth a hot tub.
- Leave Davis. Davis is located pretty close to fun places to be.
- It is less than two hours to a beach. Stinson Beach is an awesome place to hang out for a day, and the food nearby is amazing.
- Go to the horse races in Berkeley. Golden Gate fields has dollar day on Sundays. Don’t worry though, the betting will allow you to spend much more than that. Wear a ridiculous outfit like a suit with shorts and at the very least put a couple dollars on some races. It helps you get very into the races and you may even make some of your hot dog and beer money back.
- Go to one of the nearby lakes. Berryessa is about a half hour away, and Shasta and Tahoe are two hours away. Each of these places have cool hiking trails, and if you’re feeling rich from the above activity, rent some jet skis. You will not regret it.
- Celebrate something. You don’t need a friend with a birthday to have a crazy night. You can make something out of nothing. Make an awesome playlist of your group’s favorite songs and have a release party for it. Have a party in celebration of your plants in the backyard being ripe; I’ll never forget last year’s Radish party. Play the moustache game. Put a fake moustache on your TV and celebrate every time it fits on someone in the movie.
- For the 21 and over crowd, there are tons of options. Go to the bars on the weekends if you aren’t already doing this. They are a great place to take your relationship with someone from staring at them in class to becoming friends and staring at their Facebook. Buy them a drink, ask them to “study for a midterm,” and the rest is history. Do bottomless mimosas for brunch on the weekends; many places offer this. Do Trivia or Karaoke somewhere; just make sure you’ve been doing the drinking before the singing. Video footage of my rendition of “My Humps” can be made available upon request.
This coming weekend is one of the last true weekends of the quarter before finals hit. It’s the end of week eight, and though week nine doesn’t immediately lead into finals, the stress has begun to set in. The week eight weekend is arguably the last time to justify doing some of the things on the list. It’s also arguably the best weekend for this, because it can completely keep your mind off the impending stress. Apply it to each weekend that qualifies, especially in the spring to come. Break out of your routine of waking up in the middle of the day and doing absolutely nothing. Try some or all of these things out, and watch the weekdays become much easier in anticipation of your next capture the flag showdown.
The UCD Files is your weekly in depth look at our campus and the lifestyle that comes with it, featuring an occasional dropping of knowledge from a senior who has experienced it all.
Feel Free to send questions, comments, hate mail, or anything you would like to see in future articles to Adam Marx at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Photo by CA Aggie Photo Team