Members of Editorial Board share why they chose UC Davis
With Decision Day 2017 this Saturday, prospective students may be seeing campus for the first time. They’ll weigh the pros and cons of going to one of the highest-ranked public universities in the world. Here, members of The Aggie’s Editorial Board share moments and stories that helped them decide that UC Davis was the right school for them:
My first time in Davis, I went to class with my older sister, who was a senior at the time. I was amazed that people actually seemed to care about what they were learning, a stark contrast from my high school experience. We then walked through campus to the Quad, and, while sitting on the grass eating CoHo tacos, I knew then I wanted to go to school at UC Davis. The sprawling campus, the looming, protective oak trees lining the bike routes and the students playing frisbee on the Quad immediately told me that this campus was where I wanted to spend the most defining years of my life. I feel the same appreciation for the campus (asbestos aside) and its inhabitants now as I did then, and I know that coming to UC Davis (and joining The Aggie!!!) are the best decisions I ever made.
It was springtime when I first set foot on campus. So, obviously, I fell instantly in love: the towering trees on the Quad, the classic brick of Wellman Hall, the hustle and bustle of the CoHo, the serenity of the Arboretum and my parents’ unrelenting requests to take a picture of me by “that rock-egg thing,” “that London bus” and “that squirrel.” Looking back at those pictures, I was blissfully unaware of how many times I’d later walk past those rock-egg things, ride those London buses and Snapchat those squirrels as they fearlessly approached me on the Quad. Nevertheless, being at Davis felt right — I knew it was where I wanted to be. I still have the pic collage from my first visit that I posted on Instagram with the embarrassing caption, “This place is the coolest, ever.” And although that was a whole four years ago now, I can still say wholeheartedly that this place is the coolest, ever.
I visited UC Davis for the first time during week one of Spring Quarter. I stopped by an English class in Wellman (little did I know at that time that I’d have classes in Wellman every single quarter and would end up writing a story for The Aggie about Wellman being plagued with asbestos the summer before my junior year). I came back about a week later for Decision Day with my dad again. We were listening to the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” on the ride over and, when I opened the car door, Band-Uh! was playing the same song. I decided it was fate, so I came to UC Davis. I am so happy with my choice, because I love this quirky town and the friendly people in it.
My first time in Davis was actually Picnic Day 2014 because my poor mother thought it would be lively and spirited, which it was, but it was also, well, Picnic Day. I saw a couple drunkenly making out on a couch, which freaked me out a little. However, that fateful day was my deciding factor, as I saw a campus that was large and bright, full of people having a good time. I liked the quintessential college vibe, and just walking around on Picnic Day showed me the vastness of the campus. I also got to meet the cows, which was a life-changing experience.
Well, my dad went to UC Santa Barbara and it was a little close to Los Angeles. Plus, I wasn’t really feeling the “Keanu Reeves in Point Break” vibe of that campus. I wanted to study, apparently. So I visited Davis and was immediately struck by how unnervingly, disgustingly friendly everybody was. Was the economics program good? Yup. English? Sure. Okay then. I didn’t fall in love until my second year. What happened? Not sure. But Davis is good. Come.
Though the recyclable cardboard pen they gave me at Decision Day 2013 was pretty cool, what really convinced me to come to Davis was its location. Other UCs love to say how our campus is in the middle of nowhere — “cow country,” if you will — but have no idea what northern California beauty surrounds the area. Yeah, there are the bike trails, but those paths can show you sprawling vineyards and fields, open expanses of clear blue sky that show off the white caps of the Sierras and incredible sunsets that remind you of just how lovely it is to be alive, even as a stressed-out college student. I grew up in the area, and knowing that I would have the opportunity to go to a school in the region I love that was close to my family and had everything I could hope for in a university, I couldn’t bear to leave just yet.
I’m from a rural mountain town in the Sierra Foothills, so when I heard that I had gotten accepted into UC Davis I was thrilled — finally, after 18 years, I was going to live in a bustling metropolis. Davis was (to me) a massive urban environment, larger, busier and unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. I was close enough to home where I would regularly get food care packages, I could see my family while retaining my independence and I could wash my clothes in my childhood home. Also taken into consideration: Cows were cool, Picnic Day was cool and bikes were cool.
The drive from Los Angeles to Davis is boring, dusty and devoid of any charm. But my first impression of Davis itself was quite the opposite, and after driving up for Decision Day 2013, I knew I wanted to spend the next four years of my life learning and growing in this charming college town. I, like Alyssa, was instantly won over by the Band-Uh’s delightful rendition of “I Want It That Way.” I was in marching band all throughout high school and I thought I’d join the band in college too, but instead, I ended up trying out something I’d never done in high school: writing for the paper. I think that’s the beauty of of a big school like Davis; it may seem like a large, intimidating campus at first but there’s so many opportunities for personal growth, for trying something new, and for you to find your own niche. I thought I wanted to attend a small liberal arts college, but after four years here, I can honestly say that Davis has been everything I hoped for and more. True, the route up from L.A. is still mind-numbingly dull, but the wonderful university awaiting you at the end of the drive makes it all worth it.
I knew UC Davis was the right choice for me after this particular anomaly, which happened to me as follows:
It was my first week. I hadn’t ridden a bike since my mom gave away my childhood one for $5 at a garage sale without me knowing. So, there I was, back in the saddle, locking my wheels up in front of the CoHo before going to class. Or so I thought. In my first-week, flurried state, I rushed to class and upon re-emerging, realized I forgot exactly where I locked my bike in the sea of bikes surrounding the CoHo. I searched for my dear two-tired friend for 20 long minutes before a kindly stranger chirped behind me, “Hey, are you looking for your bike? Do you need help finding it?” I sure was, and I sure did. To cut to the chase, I ended up with a gaggle of 10 or so strangers taking time out of their busy days to help me find a bike I really shouldn’t have lost in the first place. And, turns out, it was across the street the whole time. Lol.
Moral of the story: 1. Pay attention when you lock your bike, 2. If you don’t, your fellow Davis-folk will have your back.