By Eileen Ly
Contrary to what you might believe about me from my posts so far, I had no idea what Davis was like at all. I didn’t know a lot about Davis culture. I didn’t know much about the different kinds of research, or even, how to get into research. I didn’t know what I wanted to major in, as long as I had something to do. I wasn’t looking forward to college at all, feeling burned out from high school.
I had never visited the campus on a tour nor did I have any friends who had gone to Davis. I decided to go to Davis because I had heard the school was mainly rural and out in the middle of nowhere. I wanted somewhere quiet away from home where I could think and recollect my thoughts.
The only thing I really knew about Davis was the cow pens. In my mind, Davis was the middle of nowhere with nothing but sleepy-eyed bovines for miles, mindlessly munching on dying grass and swishing their long tails. Vaguely, somewhere among the farmland, there would be college people and things. To me, Davis was only another regular chapter in my life, labeled “Eileen’s College Days.” The first couple paragraphs would be, surely, full of studying and more tests.
Of course, I was nervous but I really wasn’t expecting too much out of Davis. After being rejected from my dream schools, I was feeling down. What had all those sleepless nights of writing essays and countless hours after school for math tutoring done for me at the end of the day? What had all my hours of volunteering and playing tennis been for?
So, I came to Davis, feeling a bit depressed and anxious. But I soon found out that Davis was more than just cows. It was about the experiences and the people.
I was away from home for the first time so I had to be independent.
I ate for the first time with a bunch of other people at the Segundo DC.
I worked in the study room and made small talk with strangers.
I went to the gym late at night and cramped after running only a mile.
I walked around campus by myself to find all my classes.
I stayed up all night just playing cards with a friend or talking to them.
I visited the Farmer’s Market by myself and bought a jar of sweet local honey.
I bought my bike lock and got my bike licensed.
My bike handles broke off when I was riding my bike back.
I made awesome friends in the dorms, like my roommate Becca.
I had a boyfriend for the first time and he taught me about relationships.
I had to learn how to adapt to all my classes and manage my time.
I had my first job interview and many more after that.
I became really interested in science, particularly cell biology, thanks to my classes.
I had three back to back finals once and almost died.
I made really close friends outside of the dorm, friends that will probably be with me for the rest of my life.
People will tell you that college is a life changing experience and that is very much true. Here at Davis, everything really grew on me. I came to love the scenery, flat biking roads.
So, lastly, I would like to say a few things I wish I could have said to the freshman me.
Don’t be afraid to be selfish and live a little. Don’t feel the need to change who you are but be open to trying new experiences out. Make your priorities and stick to them. Make small talk with strangers and ask the more interesting questions.
After all, these experiences are what will change you here at Davis.