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Saturday, May 25, 2024

The big squeeze

Lessons from a transfer student short on time




Finding time to sit down to write this has been difficult. You might think that’s because we’re dangerously close to finals, or because the senioritis is really kicking in. And while those are both true, the actual reason I’ve put off my final column is because I dread saying goodbye.

I fondly remember transferring to UC Davis — the shocking heat, the thrill of a new town, the seemingly endless possibilities at my fingertips. And yet, I was acutely aware that my stay in Davis was limited; I only had two years instead of four. I knew that I would have to use my time wisely.

Most of the three years I spent at community college was not spent wisely. I was floundering around, trying desperately to find what it was I cared about, what it was I wanted to do. I tried everything under the sun — computer science, design, education, philosophy, chemistry. Even when I finally settled on English and transferred to UC Davis, I wasn’t fully sold.

But it was The Aggie that changed that. When I arrived in Davis, I immediately started searching for a way to get involved in journalism. Something I’m unable to put my finger on just drew me in that direction. Maybe it was all that time I spent reading terrible articles and thinking, “I could do better.” Maybe I just thought I had something to say. Either way, journalism interested me. And even though I had no form of journalistic experience, I was determined to get involved.

 And what a wise decision getting involved with The Aggie ended up being. I started out as a humble opinion writer (despite wanting to be a humorist or write on the features desk), and fell in love with writing hot takes and silly columns. Then I took the leap and applied for opinion editor — a responsibility I wasn’t sure I could handle. But I’m so glad I took the chance because the people I’ve met, the work I’ve done and the experience I’ve gained are invaluable to me. This is it for me now — journalism, for better or worse.

During my time at Davis, I’ve generated my fair share of regrets. I regret not getting more involved in club sports. I regret starting some papers too late, I regret taking certain classes. But I’ve never regretted any of my time at The Aggie. Every moment has been so incredibly loaded with purpose.

I guess what I’m trying to say is squeeze every last drop of opportunity out of your time here in Davis. Take those chances, apply for those positions, state your opinion loud and clear and trust your gut. Even if you have no idea what you’re doing, you can take comfort in the fact that everything will work itself out. Trust me. I’ve been there.
I’m not one to get overly sappy and, as you know, I dread saying goodbye. The good news is, I don’t have to. Graduation isn’t the end — it’s really the beginning. So instead of saying goodbye, I’ll say hello. Hello, degree. Hello, people who made this possible. Hello, next opinion editor. Hello, friends I made along the way. Hello, bright future. Hello, everyone who loves me. Hello, Davis. And hello, reader. I look forward to getting to spend my time, wisely, with you.


Written By: Owen Ruderman

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.