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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Happy Thanksgiving from the Editorial Board

Here is what we at The California Aggie are grateful for this year



Sophie Dewees — Editor-in-Chief

This Thanksgiving, I’m so thankful for the time I’ve been able to spend with friends and family in nature. Whether I was backpacking in the misty redwoods of Northern California or teetering on tiny edges on a rock face in Ojai, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a good portion of the year outside. And even if it hasn’t been a multi-day adventure into the great outdoors, I’ve come to more greatly appreciate the natural world around me, from the bright yellow and orange fall foliage on my bike rides to class this quarter to the lush green parks where I’ll take my dog when I’m home visiting my family. Some of my most cherished memories are from my time spent outside — camping, hiking, climbing or even just lying on the grass on the Quad — and I am incredibly grateful for everything our beautiful planet has to offer.


Katie DeBenedetti — Managing Editor

This Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for books. I know that sounds silly, but there truly are few things better than snuggling up with my dog on the couch in my childhood home and reading an entertaining, albeit somewhat trashy, novel. And in addition to being a way for me to unwind and relax this year, I’ve especially loved how reading has connected me with my family and friends — from my roommates’ shared library of sorts to long book chats with my English-teaching mother (because there’s a 99% chance she’s already read whatever I’m reading). I’m so thankful for all of the stories that have taught me something new or made me feel seen, and for the people around me, who I’ve been so lucky to share them with along the way.


Sonora Slater — Campus News Editor

I’ve heard there’s a trend as you get older of the things you’re grateful for becoming not things at all, but rather people — and unlike TikTok and low-rise jeans, this is a trend I can get behind. I am grateful for my parents, for listening to several lengthy monologues about the latest article I’m working on, and for, like, giving me life, and for my siblings, who understand the absolutely underappreciated value of Phineas and Ferb. I am grateful for my housemates, because every day I know I am coming home to people who love me, share my faith and truly appreciate a bad pun, and I am grateful for my boyfriend even though he won’t be able to read this because our website apparently doesn’t work in the UK. Finally, I am grateful for my colleagues at The Aggie, be it my fellow editors, the talented writers on my desk or other members of staff that I’ve crossed paths with over the years. It’s — ironically — hard to put into words what journalism means to me, but I’ve never felt as at home as I do in a newsroom, surrounded by people who know when to use an em dash instead of a hyphen and believe deeply in the power of the written word to make a difference in the world.  


Chris Ponce — City News Editor

When I’m asked about what I’m grateful for during the holidays my answer is frequently the same. I usually answer that I’m grateful for my family and friends, and this being my instinctual response shows to me how consistent the loved ones in my life truly are. So yes, I am thankful for all of my loved ones who support and care for me. I don’t know what I would do without my family and friends, truly I am grateful. However, I wanted to give a slightly different answer this year, one that I don’t think I have ever said during this holiday. This Thanksgiving, in addition to my loved ones, I am grateful for myself. Throughout this year my life has gone through many changes and I am proud of myself for putting in the effort to work on myself. My journey with my mental health this year, and fall quarter in particular, has made important steps towards improvement. I am working on being more attentive and patient with myself day by day. 


Owen Ruderman — Opinion Editor

I think most of my fellow students will agree with me when I say that this quarter has been a doozy. But despite the late nights and early mornings, despite the stress of classes and assignments and despite my graduation approaching at a disturbing speed, I’m endlessly grateful to be where I am today. I wouldn’t change my decision to attend UC Davis for the world. The opportunities and experiences I’ve had here have made me into a better version of myself, the version of myself that I want to be. Of course, I could have never made it alone. To my inspiring colleagues at the Aggie, to my awesome friends and my incredible girlfriend and to my loving family: Thanks for sticking with me! Your support means more than I will ever be able to express.


Levi Goldstein — Features Editor

I’m thankful for everyone who sticks around even when life gets hard or I’m not at my best. I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to not be perfect and to still be figuring things out. I appreciate endlessly those who make space for me to mess up. I’m grateful for people who forgive me when I make mistakes and who feel safe to make mistakes around me. Thank you to everyone who communicates with me openly and vulnerably and engages in difficult conversations with me. I’m glad I have the privilege of being wrong, experiencing discomfort and growing from it. I’m so grateful for my partner — I can be my truest, weirdest self with her, and I feel like I’m becoming the best version of myself because of her compassion, patience and unwavering honesty. I love the process of making art and writing stories and I love that what I make isn’t perfect but connects me to people. I’m thankful for people who make me smile and snort with laughter. To those who actively choose to be in my life — thank you for caring about me. I’m glad you’re here.


Clara Fischer — Arts & Culture Editor 

Thanksgiving has always been a very understated holiday in my family — all of our extended family lives on a different continent, so it was usually a casual spaghetti dinner affair in my home. I have, however, always loved the idea of focusing on gratitude during this time, as the year is winding to a close, the nights are getting shorter and the days are growing colder. I’m thankful for my parents, who have provided unconditional support for all of my endeavors, no matter how much I might doubt myself. I’m thankful for all of my friends, from my housemates to my high school friends to those who I struggle through the PHY7 series with. I’m thankful to attend a school that has so many ambitious, driven people who are all doing such cool things to hopefully make a positive impact on the world. Lastly, I’m thankful for the work I’ve put in over the past couple of years to grow more confident in myself — personally, academically and professionally. These past couple of years have been life-changing in ways that no one could have imagined for many of us, and I’m proud that I was able to stick it through and learn to enjoy my own company above all else. 


Marlon Rolon — Sports Editor

As the end of the fall quarter is approaching I now realize that I only have 20 weeks left as an Aggie. While it makes me sad to think that I’m nearing the end of my journey here at UC Davis I also feel grateful for the amazing opportunities I’ve had and the amazing people I’ve come across. It’s definitely been quite the journey to get to this point and by that, I mean endless sleepless nights, endless papers and countless hours of studying but that’s what it means to be a college student and over time I’ve truly learned to appreciate that. I’m thankful for the difficult journey that led me to this point because it has contributed to my growth as a person. However, nothing is achieved by one person alone, my family and colleagues at the Aggie have played an instrumental role in helping me reach this point. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for their advice, support, and belief in me — so for that, thank you. Sophie and Katie, I’m truly grateful for the opportunity you both gave me to be part of the managing staff, because of both of you I have fulfilled a dream of covering a professional sporting event and getting the opportunity to interview my favorite players, how cool is that? From the bottom of my heart thank you! Last but not least, I’m thankful to our readers on and off campus. We at the Aggie work so hard to produce the best content possible week in and week out. I love seeing fellow students on campus with our newspaper, that fulfills me and makes me feel accomplished, so for that thank you.


Brandon Ngyuen — Science & Tech Editor

With the year coming to a close, it’s that time when I can reflect on not just this year, but my time here at UC Davis as a senior and reaching an end to yet another chapter of my life. To be where I am today was no doubt a difficult journey, and I could not have done it without my amazing family, friends and girlfriend. It is the people that I have become closest to that have shown me unconditional support and love even when I was not the best version of myself. I am thankful for even the bad days as they give me an opportunity to grow as a person and to surround myself with the individuals that I am genuinely grateful for — the people who I can spend time with even in comfortable silence, the ones who spontaneously text me asking if they can drop off food that they made and all of the friends who have come over for cozy and goofy game nights. No amount of words can truly and fully describe my gratitude, but the least I can do is say that I appreciate you all. Thank you for being part of my life. 


Written by: The Editorial Board