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By Eileen Ly

You’ve been tapping your pencil against the desk for the past minute, trying to rack your tired mind for an answer. You know you’ve seen the answer before; it was right there on your desk last night as you were studying for that other final you have right after this one.

Bio..bio..bio-something. You jot down an answer you think is right. But you know it’s not going to come to you anytime soon…it wasn’t something you thought was going to be on the final…at three in the morning…

Final…final… For the umpteenth time, you curse your past genius self for thinking you could have pulled off three back-to-back finals. What could go wrong, you thought?

Hopefully, you will never find yourself in this position. But if you do, like I did my spring quarter of freshman year, I feel for you. I feel for you really hard.

So, what do you do if you can avoid this type of finals situation?

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Image source: http://www.collegehumor.com/post/6283767/realistic-gym-workout-diagrams#!bKvgGj

Just kidding. Who has time to cry when you’ve got three finals to study for? It’ll only dehydrate you.

You just have to sit up, grind your teeth, get that computer out, pull out those PowerPoints, get your notes, whip that pen or pencil out, and tough it out like the awesome student that you are.

It always helps to break this process into steps, of course, so here is a guide for surviving three final exams in a row.

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By Laurel Carney


My advisor told me that, once, while observing a walking tour for incoming UC Davis students, she overheard the tour guide claim that yes, UC Davis is a great school for research, provided that you’re a student of the sciences. “I don’t think they do any research in the humanities,” the guide said, much to my (English) professor’s horror. When many of us hear the word “research,” we think about lab coats, fluorescent lights, and sad mice with three ears. So, then, what does undergraduate research in the humanities look like? And how does one get started?


Well, for me, it took on many forms! But first, it began with a question—when checking out the Wikipedia page of Anne Bonny, a famous female pirate, I came across a term I’d never heard before: “pleading the belly.”


I did a little digging, and what I found fascinated me. It turns out that “pleading the belly” refers to a clause in early modern execution law that stated that a woman convicted of a capital offense could receive a temporary stay of execution if she could convince the court that she was pregnant. I was particularly interested in the role that story-telling played in such a practice, given that the court reached its decisions based on their “readings” of these women’s bodies, as well as the oral testimony and literature surrounding the case.


As an English major with a double emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature, Criticism & Theory, I designed a hybrid project that would allow me to use historical and literary research to inform a collection of short stories, exploring the role that fiction played in reading women’s bodies, as well as in the “facts” of their crimes, deaths, and pregnancies.


Although these are not exactly research questions that require a lab coat, I still wound up engaging in a lot of experimentation to reach some answers. Under the patient guidance of my faculty advisor, I spent a lot of time in libraries, both here at UC Davis and, after applying for and receiving funding to travel to London, the manuscript archives at the British Library! There I was able to find the handwritten, nearly 400 year old notes of the physician who attended one of the women I was researching.


Of course, my research was to inform a series of short stories, so I was sure to step out of the library and take in as much of the physical environment as possible. I took advantage of in-depth walking tours and neighborhood historians. I was even able to visit a (previously) unmarked mass grave for early modern female criminals and their children, and speak with locals who had been passing down stories about these women for generations. In an attempt to honor those who had been cast aside so ruthlessly centuries before, vigils are held once a month at the Cross Bones Graveyard. Participants sing songs, read poems, and tell stories about themselves as well as the “outcast dead.” Talk about bringing the past to life!


Since my research was related to detecting signs of pregnancy in early modern women, I was curious about the state of medicine (particularly obstetric and gynecological) in the 16th and 17th centuries. So I was sure to pay a visit to archives at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as well as the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret, where a number of medicinal herbs, surgical tools, and documents are preserved. There, hundreds of years ago, physicians could watch as men and women endured operations and amputations without the aid of anesthesia or disinfectant.


I also visited the site of Tyburn Tree, the very spot where many of the women I had been researching had been executed—the name refers not to an actual tree, but a gallows from which the condemned were hanged to death.


Of course, some of your research can be gastronomical, and you can’t go all the way to London without visiting the world’s greatest consulting detective:


The people who tell you the food in England is bad just want all of the halloumi and beer for themselves.


So that’s what research in the humanities looked like to me! But what about you?


The truth is, there are a number of programs and resources available to UC Davis undergraduate students that are interested in conducting a research project of their very own, be it in the humanities OR the sciences! Is there a professor you’ve always wanted to work with? The MURALS program (Mentorship for Undergraduate Research in Agriculture, Letters and Science) will pair qualifying students with a faculty mentor that will help guide them through the process of formulating and conducting a research project of the student’s own design. I was really nervous to ask my chosen professor to work with me on this project, but I’m really happy I did! Try to find someone whose class(es) you loved, whose interests match yours, or whose own research you admire!


Does your research require you to have access to rare materials, tools, or specialized equipment, or perhaps to travel to a specific museum, library, lab or historical site? The Provost’s Undergraduate Fellowship funds the independent research of many students each year, with awards of up to $1,800! And once you’ve finished your project, you can present it at the Undergraduate Research Conference, and publish your findings in Explorations: The UC Davis Undergraduate Journal!


All in all, having the opportunity to ask my own questions and (quite literally) travel the world in search of answers was the absolute highlight of my life as an undergraduate. Maybe my whole life. I got to work with professors that I greatly admired, handle centuries-old documents, take on both academic and creative writing, eat lunch in a crypt, take a nap in a castle, and even try to sneak into Hogwarts. If you’ve got an idea for a research question, or even just the desire to ask one, seek out the assistance of a favorite professor or the people at the Undergraduate Research Center. My experience is proof that no project is too strange, and no question too trivial, provided that you’ve got the passion and drive to back it up! What have you got to lose? Good luck, and happy hunting!

By Tania Renteria

To me, Davis is a hidden treasure. You may think you know everything that Davis has to offer; one day you can get the calm and comfort of a college town, but the next day, you find a city of adventures waiting for you. If you have attended UC Davis even for just one year, you know how amazing this place is and the many hidden secrets this town has to offer. Even though the summer months may seem quieter, the rising temperatures can still offer a lot of fun experiences and adventures around Davis.

On Campus:


A local and fun activity is hitting up the Recreation Pool, and cooling off after a long Davis summer day. The Recreation pool is free to students who are attending Summer Sessions. A day pass, which gives you access to the pool all day, is also available for just $2 (for continuing students) even if you are not enrolled in any summer classes. The Recreation Pool for me is part of the staycation at UC Davis over the summer. I can always go to class and end my day cooling off by the pool that is right across from campus. Not only does it give me a break from pressure of school or work, but it gives me an opportunity to socialize and even meet new people who are here over the Summer.

15-Minute Bike Ride:


A more nature-filled activity to cool off during the summer is visiting Putah Creek. Putah Creek actually runs through campus but what many students don’t know is that it runs all the way past the neighboring town of Winters and into Lake Berryessa (which we will talk about soon). Putah Creek offers many recreational activities, such as: fishing, swimming, and kayaking. Although the lake does not provide the equipment, people are allowed to bring their own and enjoy themselves!

20-minute Car Ride:


Lake Berryessa is definitely my favorite place to visit over the summer. Going early in the morning while the sun is still coming out is the most beautiful thing you can ever experience. The hike in and of itself is a work out, but when you reach the top, you can get the most amazing view of the lake.


There are also great places where you can go swimming in Lake Berryessa, and if you are also more on the adventurous type, there are some awesome rocks you can jump off of to take a dip in the lake! Lake Berryessa is a great get-away without the cost of a much deserved fun time. Every time I leave, I always want to return as soon as possible because I know how close this nature paradise is to Davis.

New! On Campus:


For the first time, Summer Sessions at UC Davis is holding fun summer events - like movie nights, bowling, and ice cream socials - that go on during both sessions. They’re all free for students, making it easy to come and enjoy the company of old and new friends on campus. These events for me create a way to make new friends over the summer and enjoy the great things that campus has to offer me over the summer. As I help run some of the events, I can’t help but get really happy when I see new friendships forming and people return to events with their new friends.


Don’t be turned off by taking some classes over the summer; you don’t have to be stuck studying all the time. Staying in Davis over the summer can also be a time to discover new places and ways to study. I’ve never been so open to finding new ways to study and enjoy our college town. Summer in Davis is the perfect place to try new things, so dive in, check out some of the links below for more information about these fun activities, and plan the adventure you’ve been waiting to have all summer. I know you’ll enjoy it!


More information:
REC Pool http://cru.ucdavis.edu/content.cfm?contentID=47
Putah Creek http://daviswiki.org/putah_creek
Lake Berryessa http://daviswiki.org/Lake_Berryessa
Summer Sessions Events http://summer-sessions.ucdavis.edu/summer-events/index.html

By Aubrey Harper

It’s midnight… The day before you assume your position as a Freshman at UC Davis… What are you doing? Packing, obviously. I have a theory that if you are done with packing more than 3 hours prior to your departure, you aren’t allowing yourself enough of the last-minute panic inspiration that packing truly requires.

As you are sorting through your giant mound of things to begin your life as an Aggie, here are some items you should definitely take out of that stack.

  1. Printer. Unnecessary space/outlet stealer. I’m an English major, and never used CLOSE to the allotted 250 prints per quarter. First of all, (most of the time) professors let you turn hard copies in double-sided. There’s a good chance that the majority of your written work will be submitted soft copy, anyway. Those of you who will need PDFs in class can easily print out them out without worrying about running low on prints, as I did this and never got below 100 pages all three quarters.

  2. Excessive knick knacks. Chances are, you will have at least one roommate. Chances are, they will have friends. Chances are, you will have friends. With all of these people in the room (not to mention the inevitable mess of textbooks and laundry) your room will probably look like this sea of minions. Don’t risk things breaking or falling into a crevice you will never find it again.

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  1. Doubles of things. This means coordinate with your roommate. There is a lot of stuff that can easily be shared. My roomie and I shared a full length mirror, and the girls next door ended up sharing it, too. Stuff like mirrors or even air freshener, blow dryer (c’mon boys, I know some of you use those), microwave, fridge, etc. either aren’t used enough for multiples to be purchased or just take up too much room. Plan ahead by asking your roommate what he/she is willing to share and setting some basic guidelines about how the shared belongings need to be treated.

  2. Things you don’t already normally use. It’s great that you have been wanting to start sewing your own clothes, but maybe leave the bulky sewing machine at home. There’s plenty of time for trying new things in college, but don’t sacrifice space for a potential new hobby.

  3. The classic “Back to School” complete office set. While you definitely want to have the basics on hand, college requires different materials than high school. I found this out the hard way. I brought a 3 hole punch, stapler, paper clips (varying sizes, of course), and multiple post it packs. Maybe I’m not the avid office supplies user that you are, but all of that really wasn’t necessary. Your computer is likely to replace most of the notebooks (except for things like math and the like). Bring only the essentials (paper, a couple pens/pencils, eraser, MAYBE a highlighter) until you find that one class really requires post its or paper clips, which are all sold at the UC Davis Bookstore.

 

I hope that you have a great move-in process (and that it isn’t raining while you carry your life in boxes inside a crowded dorm building like it was for me). There will probably be things you brought that you don’t use, and vice versa. Check out this handy list of 10 things you SHOULD bring, and get ready to have an amazing first year.

By Jimmy Recinos

Photo by Gregory Urquiaga of Andy Jones’s Freshman Seminar on Exploring Davis

“Was there some sort of mistake?”

“Did they get my SIR?”

“What if they forgot about me?!”

“WHY ME?!”

For a moment, I can recall my own eagerness during the summer before my new school year as an incoming junior to UC Davis. I was a rabid and nerve-wracked mess! In waiting to hear from the school about what was next, I could only talk to myself as I stared and blinked at my new but still relatively quiet UC Davis email account.

Of course, everything was just fine, and I made it through a tough summer to register for classes the same way everyone does. You’ll do it too.

Of all things, you’re probably most eager to figure out what kinds of classes you’re going to take. You may even wonder, “What kind of classes are available to incoming freshmen and transfer students?”

Well….

It really depends on your major, but there are still some general customs that apply. In my own experience, there’s one kind of class structure that I would recommend to anyone from any major! It’s called the seminar. By its official definition from UC Davis’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the seminar course is described as “[a]n exciting program of innovative seminars that reflect instructor’s intellectual interests. These once-in-a-lifetime courses promote intellectual exchange, critical thinking and community.” By my own definition, I’d posit that it’s the best kind of class you can take at the UC, EVER!

Now, to be sure, there are two kinds of seminars: The freshman seminar, and the upper-division seminar. The first, as you might imagine, is set at a pace with respect to the inevitable culture shock that our awesome institution will create for INCOMING students. The latter, on the other hand, is for students who are ready to take their grasp of the discipline to the next level. As an INCOMING junior, I took the upper division seminar, and almost immediately, I FELL IN LOVE.

HERE’S WHY:

1. ENGAGEMENT: Let’s be honest here, with general courses open to everyone, it’s only natural for some of us to feel disconnected from our professors when we’re just one in a crowd of a gazillion other students. This is where the seminar differs, in that they place both students and their professor face to face, and mano y mano.

For my own upper-division seminar, I took a course called Intersectionality in Shakespeare, and at the most, there were only 10 other students in class aside from me. This made for highly stimulating discussions, a fair turn for each student to share their thoughts, and the notion that during the course, we weren’t just going to class to take something away, but we were also there to build something.

A case in point: During this class, we created a “commonplace book,” in which we collected and organized different quotes from our assigned readings to make a cool reference guide for different themes such as humor, irony, power and more! This got everyone to participate, and it was great to know that my classmates and I were quite literally developing something by coming to class, something of our own doing, and which we all shared in.

2. RECIPROCITY: Throughout all my time in college, I can’t count how many instances I felt like there were never enough moments of digression, where rather than a professor going on with the general theme of the day’s lesson, it’d be more fun to hear their thoughts on this other thing. By contrast, with seminars, while there’s still a general set of ideas to think about during discussion, there’s far more room to let exchanges between a class flow, like in a real conversation! This is because most of the time, rather than ignoring one another’s comments, students speak to one another and reciprocate the courtesy of attentiveness and engagement.

3. COMMUNITY: Considering the above, just think again about the results of meeting with a small group of people for 10 straight weeks to simply have a conversation for a while. In the midst of it all, it’s more than likely that you’ll be sharing laughter with this group, connecting on a flurry of light-bulb moments, and that you’ll arrive to class expecting to see “the ole gang” in a familiar, and friendly way.

This is a natural outcome of the seminar course. After all, through seeing each and every one of your fellow classmates, learning their different names, and distinguishing their voices, thoughts, and the other tendencies that make them unique, you’ll come to really know them in a comfortable, and even fraternal way. Make no mistake about it, this can go the distance for the rest of your undergraduate career, in other classes, at get-togethers, and in the myriad of other tiny moments that make up the memorable undergrad experience.

With this in mind, the INCOMING class of 2014 should know exactly why they should look forward to a seminar course! BECAUSE SEMINARS RULE!!!

- Jimbo </:-D

In response to Eileen Ly’s post, “Help! What am I Majoring In?” we received this submission from the UC Davis library. Great advice!

The University Library is a great tool in the decision making process for picking a major. A visit to the University Library and a talk with one of our many subject specialists Librarians can help one explore the kind of work people do in any academic field. The library has great introductory texts, the key journals in each field of study, and academic society publications. By seeing what is expected from different professions and careers, students are better positioned to make an informed choice about their futures.

David Michalski, Social and Cultural Studies Librarian

By Aubrey Harper

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College is the ultimate time to meet new people, get out there, and fall into the sticky, tricky territory of new relationships. Of the many varieties of college relationships (I use the term loosely here), you will see the casual daters, the couple who fall in love at first sight and will inevitably get married, the guy/girl who is friendzoned and can’t figure out why, and then… the dreaded LONG DISTANCE relationship. You know what I mean. That roommate who came to college claiming their high school love is “the one,” but conveniently finds another “one” by Thanksgiving.

Whoops. Did I get too cynical?

Don’t get me wrong here. I love love, and all that mushy, butterfly-in-your-stomach, should-I-wait-for-him-to-call-or-just-call-him stuff. But you have to agree that one thing that ALL relationships are is hard. And yes, most relationships do not end in happily ever after-at least not together. Yet, we all keep trying. Hey, it only takes one to stick for it to be all worth it, right?

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One of the biggest relationship decisions I have had to make is whether or not to maintain a long distance relationship with my high school boyfriend once we both graduated. We were both going to different schools, but our 3 year relationship seemed too important to just set aside. This is not an uncommon predicament for college freshmen. Maybe you’re trying to decide the same thing. I can’t tell you what’s best for you, but I can tell you how my decision went.

I hate to reduce such an important decision in my life down to a pro-con list, but that’s essentially what it became when my boyfriend and I were trying to figure things out. Interestingly enough, the deciding factors were those that could fit in both pro and con, depending on how I looked at them. For example, did I see our consistent relationship as stability I needed or as an unwanted stagnation in my life? Would having a boyfriend far away make it harder to focus on meeting new people and my studies or easier because he wouldn’t be there to distract me?

In the end, we decided to brave the dreaded “LDR”, despite the awful statistics and somewhat rocky summer we had just barely survived. We made it all the way to finals of Spring quarter that year before we realized our relationship wasn’t working for us anymore. As with any relationship, there were ups and downs, but it was a great learning experience (cliche, but true) and I think we both came out of it as stronger individuals and knowing ourselves a little better.

When we were first facing the decision of a long distance relationship, it took a lot of talking and a lot of advice. Here are some things I learned that will hopefully help you:

  • Finally seeing each other is kind of on par with going to Disneyland/the beach/the mountains/wherever your happy place is. All at once. Ok, maybe this seems obvious, but the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” really holds. Yeah, the separation might suck (it will) in the meantime, but there’s nothing like your monthly date to keep you motivated through your studies.

  • Everything a regular relationship takes, a long distance relationship requires tenfold. Commitment, communication, trust. If your relationship is weak in any of these areas now, this tends to blow up in your face. The distance will test you: either it will make your relationship stronger or show the hidden problems.

  • Small issues that don’t seem like problems become big problems in long distance. This kind of goes back to the last point. If one of you doesn’t like to Skype as much as the other, that isn’t much of a problem when you go to the same high school and live close to each other. But when you stop seeing each other daily, these problems become magnified. Just remember to openly communicate, preferably before you leave for college, when communication takes a lot more effort.

  • Once you start thinking about breaking up, that feeling doesn’t go away. Yes, it’s a little depressing, but if you already have some recurring thoughts that things aren’t how you want them, it’s probably because things aren’t how you want them. So listen to that voice inside your head before you commit to long distance because it knows you way better than I do.

The biggest thing I can say is that you probably already know what you want. If one or both of you are you are already hesitant or overly cynical, maybe it’s time to part ways before things get too messy. But, if you are both confident and committed to a healthy relationship, then you can make it work. Just try not to be too cute and rub it in the rest of our faces.

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I’ve found that people who haven’t been to Davis tend to “know” two things about it.  It smells like cows, and it’s hot.  I can probably count the number of times I’ve noticed the cow smell on one hand, but it can get pretty hot around here, especially for a self-proclaimed weather-wimp like myself that grew up in the wonderfully mild Bay Area.  

Last summer, I was in Davis taking classes during summer session one. A couple days it got up to 115 degrees, and I had to drag myself through the miserable heat to get to class. I was only taking one class, and while the work load was light and refreshing, the temperature inside the classroom it took place in was not. On a particularly hot day in lab, one of my friends asked if she could donate an electric fan to the cause and half the room looked up and stared at her with the most serious expressions, hoping against all hope that she wasn’t joking.

Just when I was beginning to think the only thing a summer in Davis had to offer me was sweaty clothes and sunburns,  a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go see the annual Davis fireworks show that takes place on the Fourth of July .

I was surprised to learn Davis even had a fireworks show.  My home town did, but it was larger and the show always got so busy and the roads always got so stopped up that I’d never actually been to it.  In fact, I’d never been to any fireworks show.

The part of me that likes watching action movies and thinks explosions and flashing lights are great was intrigued, and I said I’d love to go.

Every year, the show is held at Community Park, and my friend, my roommate, and I followed groups of people decked out in red, white, and blue all the way there from downtown.  When we arrived around 7:30, the park was already bustling.  We made our way over to the vendors, grabbed some snow cones and plopped down on the grass among all the other people and the bugs (there are bugs, you’ve been warned).

Eventually, it got dark enough for the show to begin and the first fireworks I’d ever seen burst open in the night sky.   

I was utterly captivated, but my friend had never sat so close to fireworks and ended up getting scared of their falling remains.  She asked if we could move under some of the trees.  I couldn’t tear myself away, so I asked if she’d feel safer if my roommate and I sat in front of her and made a wall between her and the fireworks.  She said she’d try it, sure, and we ended up spending the entire show sitting like this.friend fort.png

I don’t think I looked away from the sky the whole time except to check on my friend once or twice to make sure she was feeling safe.

Despite the tweaked backs, it was a cool experience and I hope to be able to repeat it this coming summer.  If you’re in town, maybe I’ll see you there!

-Kelsey

By Aubrey Harper

Packing for your first year away from home is a pretty daunting task. There are some pretty handy apps and plenty of checklists online (like this one that UC Davis Student Housing conveniently compiled) that can help, but there’s always something you wish you had brought! Here are 10 things to make sure to bring to your freshman dorm!

  1. Extra pillows/blankets. Since your only seating is a desk chair and beds, pillows and blankets make hanging out in your room a lot more cushy. Also, when it’s November and your building hasn’t turned off the automatic A/C keeping your room at 60º, you basically live in a throw blanket.

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  1. Bike light and extra batteries. You’re going to be biking at night. You need a bike light. Don’t be surprised when it will probably accidentally stay on during the day when you don’t notice, and it will run out of batteries. So make sure to bring both. I had a bike light that screwed onto my handlebars, which was convenient because it was relatively difficult to steal and I didn’t have to remember to take it every time I might need it.

  2. Clorox wipes. When your mom puts these into the cart while you’re shopping for all your dorm room stuff, DO NOT STOP HER. Sickness spreads fast in such close quarters.

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  1. Extra lighting. Between my roommate and I, we eventually accumulated 5 extra lamps by the end of the year. That’s on top of the 2 lamps that are provided. Don’t rely on the overhead lighting.

  2. Dusting materials. Do yourself a favor and bring a dust rag and some Pledge. Allergies in Davis are brutal, so there’s no use making them worse by living in filth.

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  1. Snack foods and plates/forks to eat them. Study snacks are a must, and they’re a lot easier to eat when you don’t have to eat like an animal. Also bring things with which to wash said dishes.

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  1. A small suitcase/bag to pack to take on weekend trips. Three day weekends are a great chance to go visit the nearby hometowns of your roomies, so make sure you have something that could function as a bag for these trips.

  2. Ear plugs. Nothing like a super loud party next door the night before an exam to make you wish you had brought ear plugs.

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  1. A laundry basket. I mean a REAL laundry basket. With structure and handles and preferably made out of plastic. I had one of those hamper/laundry bags in order to save space. Do not be fooled, those are not even close to the same convenience as a real laundry basket.  I cannot count the times I tried to stuff all my clothes in there and managed to drop socks and underwear all over the laundry room floor because the bag was weirdly folding. Plus, they are pretty handy to stick random stuff in (if you ever actually take the time to empty/fold your laundry).

  2. Fruit bowl. Weird? Yes. But since you can take one fruit out of the dining commons everytime you go, you start to accumulate a lot of apples and bananas. Like, a lot. The bowl helps to avoid finding an old banana wedged between your bed and the wall. If you don’t particularly like fruit, make it a snack bowl with deliciously unhealthy goodies.


I hope this helps you to have a great start to your first year in the dorms!


By Kelsey Walker

My first year at UC Davis, the apartment I was lodged in provided furniture for me.  This was wonderful, but as the following school year approached, my roommates and I were wondering how to go about acquiring some furniture of our own on the cheap. That’s when we heard about Moving Day.

Essentially, on August 31st, many of the leases in Davis expire all at once and everyone moves at the same time.  While this sucks if you’re one of the ones moving,  it’s actually quite handy if you’re hunting for free furniture.

Around this time of year, most apartment complexes put out dumpsters or create designated donation areas for moving residents to leave their unwanted items.  This means that unclaimed furniture is just laying all around town for the taking.

While a lot of it is somewhat disgusting or trash (think: used mattresses with mystery stains on them lying in the dirt), you can also find some pretty nice, or at least usable, stuff.

My roommates and I were on the prowl for weeks beforehand as we watched stuff accumulate in the apartment parking lots.

During one of these weeks , our upstairs neighbor was moving out with the help of two heavily-muscled men, and she had them set a bunch of furniture right outside our door.  She caught us ogling it and asked if we wanted anything - a silly question, really.  We walked away with a bookshelf and an IKEA dresser in great condition - our first score!

Over the following days, we became slightly more ambitious and moved beyond furniture conveniently  located 10 feet from our doorstep.  We practically stalked the donation station in our own apartment complex.  We found a cool high-backed chair, more bookshelves (seriously - these things are everywhere), and a bed frame with an easily-repaired drawer.  The two buff guys that had been helping our upstairs neighbor move out saw my roommate, our friend, and I struggling to move the bed frame into the house and actually carried it in for us - such kindness was truly moving.

On the actual 31st we set out in a large car and drove around to other complexes, snatching up the items that seemed to be in better shape or easily repaired.  We soon realized that there was no way to fit all three of us in the car with some of our larger furniture items, and several times I was abandoned as my two roommates took things back and unloaded them into our living room.   

By the end of the day I was tired and hot from being out in the Davis heat, but our house was full of wonderful, free furniture.

If you, too, like free stuff - and really, how could you not?  then make sure to take full advantage of Moving Day.  Grab a friend with a big car or truck and collect furniture to your heart’s content.

However, If you’re hoping to find furniture on the cheap at a different time of year or couldn’t find everything you needed on Moving Day, there are a number of other options as well.

  • The SPCA Thrift Store is located close to downtown and often has furniture items for sale.  Likewise, you may be able to find furniture at R & R Thrift, and if not, they’re partnered with the consignment shop All Things Right and Relevant, located next door.
  •  UCD’s Bargain Barn sells and auctions materials that the university no longer needs or uses,  and you can find things like office chairs or desks (or maybe even microscopes) there.
  • Davis has a monthly flea market held on the last Sunday of every month, where  you could find furniture (among numerous other things).
  • Garage sales start popping up around the time spring quarter ends as well as around Moving Day.
  • It is also possible to take your shopping online. You can find furniture in the Sacramento area section of craigslist. You might even be able to find free stuff there.  Additionally, you could check out the Davis Freecycle Network to see what people are offering

Happy hunting.