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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The college experience is what you make it

Davis may not have been your dream school, but it’s important to give it a fair shot




College admissions is a stressful time; the waiting is unbearable, and opening emails from the various institutions you applied to feels like a matter of life and death. And while it’s incredible to get accepted to your dream school, it can also feel like the end of the world if you get rejected.

If you’re anything like a majority of the members of the Editorial Board, you’ve experienced the latter. While some students at UC Davis considered the school their top choice, others saw it as a safety pick. Because of this, some students are bitter — they hate the school and they hate the town.

But if all you do once you arrive in Davis is sit around and fantasize about the school you didn’t get into, of course your experience here is going to be miserable. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy — attending UC Davis with the mindset that it’s going to suck is going to make it suck. We know how easy it can be to become discouraged. It’s a common experience for many students, the Editorial Board included, to hear mixed opinions about UC Davis. When you tell people where you go to school, some react with amazement while others react with skepticism. But it’s important to not let the opinions of others affect the way you view the school — that’s an opinion you have to form for yourself.

The truth is, college is infinitely more about what you make of it than where you go. It’s up to you to have a good time; no institution can guarantee that you’re satisfied. And no matter where you end up, you have to make an effort.

Doing your best to make friends and connections, exploring the campus and town and getting involved in clubs and other activities are all ways to improve your time at any college. College will reward your effort with a better experience. But it’s equally important to not have unrealistic expectations.

Don’t put too much pressure on UC Davis, or any university, to be idyllic. Your college experience isn’t going to be perfect here, and it wouldn’t be perfect at your “dream school” either. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you would be happier elsewhere, but the grass is always greener on the other side.

UC Davis is an amazing school. For one, we are much less competitive than some other top-rated universities, which makes our community feel more homey than a place like UC Berkeley. We also have excellent research opportunities with world-renowned professors, along with access to the entire UC system, which opens up all sorts of different opportunities.

In addition, if we’re going by the numbers, UC Davis is ranked among the best veterinary science and agriculture schools in the world, has been ranked the most sustainable university in North America for the last seven years in a row and is frequently placed in the top rankings of U.S. public universities overall. When you take a step back and actually look at the school you’re attending, you’ll be amazed at what it can offer you.

And besides, a college degree is a college degree — once you get your first job and start accruing experience, it’s less about where you went to school and more about what you’ve done in your career.

All that being said, if you remain convinced that UC Davis itself is the root cause of your unhappiness, transferring to a different university is always an option. But we strongly recommend you actually give it a chance. UC Davis is an amazing school filled with incredible people, and it would be a shame to accidentally ruin your college experience because you’re bitter over your rejection letter from Berkeley.


Written by: The Editorial Board