Monday, July 6, 2009

My College Experience

Taking a bike ride around town today for a break of my slow move out out of my apartment, it is difficult for me to imagine not going to school here any more. My time at Davis has been amazing, and that's an under statement.

There are a plethora of memories and great times here at this beloved school. It all began with my late last minute decision to back out of Cal Poly and head to UC Davis. Once accepted into Davis 5 years ago, it was a little of a shock as it was one of my reach schools. My parents made it known how great of a school Davis was and to give it a look before I fully committed to Cal Poly. After two tours and orientations at both schools, Davis turned out to be the school I most likely saw myself attending. And with that I was headed to UC Davis for my college education.

Freshman Year - Davis for me started real slow, and too be completely honest, my first year was a bit of a struggle (I guess compared to the fun Ive had the past 2 years). As my grades were the best my first year, the social aspect of college freshman year was lacking. Maybe it took me awhile to get out of my shyness, but too be honest I blame my dorm life. I got stuck in a bad dorm where I really didn't have any neighbors that had things in common with me or they didn't like to go out. The women on the floor weren't much to write home about either, but that's not what college is ALL about right?

Fortunately, we had an unbelievable dining commons (THE DC) that had great food, and as I didn't gain the freshman 15, I still sampled almost every entree that was offered each day. Who could forget the Milk bar with great chocolate milk and 2%, 1%, and fat free milk. There was also a frozen yogurt machine that was cool for about a month till you got tired of it. Most importantly, the DC was a great place to meet new people, which is also the place I met my future roomates. Early on freshman year I met some dudes named Josh and Ross, and eventually picked up a guy named Jeremiah at a party for what would lead to a living arrangement for sophomore year.

Sophomore Year - Things changed for the better my 2nd year at davis, maybe it was being away from the dorm, or living in my first apartment, or maybe i was finally getting acquainted with the college town, who knows. I enjoyed taking the mile bike ride to class everyday, having to finally cook, go shopping, and pay rent. I think its fair to say all the roomates and I got along and lived pretty well together. We were also all pretty good at throwing partys. Below is one of our party invitation banners - epic

Junior Year - Junior year here was cut short due to my 4 and a half month study abroad trip to Florence, Italy. Although it wasn't Davis, it was still the most exciting part of my college experience. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to study abroad as it was the greatest experience I have had in my young life.

I was just looking back at all my photos and the 6-7 other countries I traveled too, just speechless. WHAT AN UNBELIEVABLE TIME. My travel experience is what also led to the creation of this blog, originally titled "Joe's Study Abroad Blog." Starting this blog for that purpose was one of the greatest ideas of my life, not only did it aid in letting everyone know what I was doing, but it also gave me a new hobby.

Returning from Europe was tough, especially back to school. Although i was returning to a very friendly and fun Davis, it just wasn't the same not walking across the ponte vecchio and dealing with gypsy's on my way to classes. The return of Europe also meant that I wasn't 21 anymore, but that wasn't too much of an issue, as I became legal a little more than a month after returning. Experiencing American bar life was great, and really took the night life in Davis to a new level. Although I didn't go to the bars too many times junior year, it sure paved the way for the next year.

Spring quarter of junior year, I found out of a fraternity that was coming back on campus, Sigma Nu. I liked the idea of restarting a fraternity and new it would be a great way to stay active and meet more people. Well I joined, and had a great experience, and one crucial ingredient to having a great college experience.

I never viewed myself in a fraternity, but not having to many close friends, and the idea of starting a new colony interested me. Today, pretty much all my friends are ones that I met in Sigma Nu, and will continue to be my friends in the future years. I wish I had the opportunity to have started a fraternity a year earlier, but nonetheless, a great decision to join.

Spring quarter also marked my first part time job during college. I landed a job with Campus Unions Event Services at the Memorial Union (MU). Probably the best job on campus with the best staff. My duties were basically to monitor the rooms in the MU and set up tables and chairs for events, not to mention being able to drive golf carts around campus. It paid almost half of what I spent at the bars every weekend, haha, great times.

Senior Year - My last year of college was undoubtedly the best. Having come off of a great last year and a good summer with an internship at , I was poised for a great year. I kept active with Sigma Nu activities and my on campus job. Weekends were great and had a great living arrangement with Jeremiah, a nice 2 bedroom apartment, 3 blocks from downtown. Every weekend was filled with some sort of activity and not one day was wasted with boredom.

Senior year also marked my first broken bone, my pinky finger. And for fear of embarrassment, I will not mention how it happened, but just tell yourself Joe's a bad ass and got in a fight at a bar and broke it that way.
Other than that, senior year was kind of a blur, it went by extraordinarily fast. I met a lot of new people and had a great college time.

Graduation was three weeks ago, and is just starting to hit as I am
packing up the apartment. The ceremony itself was nothing spectacular.

It was filled with sub par student and staff speeches,
and a lengthy calling of the graduates. It also didn't
help that I celebrated with my brothers the night
before until about 4 am with a ceremony at 9am, but I
earned it.

As I now realize, that NOT ONCE in this entire post did I once mention academics and criteria learned in classes. Yes, I learned. I was a Managerial Economics major. I took courses in accounting, finance, marketing, economics, etc. I took some great GE courses. I had my ups and downs academically, I passed every class, with the exception of a D in Calculus which I ended up retaking with another professor and got an A. I came out with a cumulative gpa above a 3.0, so GREAT SUCCESS!!!

A small digression on classes: One of the most annoying things about college classes is how much professors dictate the students outcome in the course. For example, student A, who is smart, lands an asian professor who has only been in America for 5 years and speaks rough english and has a tough time presenting material to the class. Additionally, you get stuck with a teaching assistant that is just there to get experience and knows jack shit about the course and what is expected. The teacher does not believe in curves. Student A struggles to learn and gets a low C in the class. On the other hand, Student B, takes the same course with a teacher that has been teaching the class for 10 years, and has a teaching assistant that is very knowledgeable on the information. Not only does the teacher know his stuff, but he digresses and talks about current events and worthwhile life advice. Hes very approachable, understands students have busy lives and live the college life. Student B gets an A in the class, learns all the required information, as well as bonus life lessons, and has a great class experience.


I am currently living the good life and taking a little break. I am back and forth from Davis and home, with some side trips to SF, Santa Cruz, and Tahoe. I am in the early beginnings of planning a backpacking trip to New Zealand and Australia with a hopeful departure around early August and arrival back in the states early September. With that return, the good life will be over and the job search will commence. It will be a struggle, but I know I will land a good job, it will work out, despite all this tough economy b.s. i hear everyday. I've always been the optimistic type, not letting little things slow me down.

Things I Will Miss In Davis

There are so many great hidden treasures in this amazing town but I know its not like I will never see them again, as I plan on making several trips up here over the coming years to keep my youth alive. I am pretty sure I will attend every picnic day for the rest of my life, and make it back up for a whole earth festival here and there. Here is a lists of notable places/things to do that I will always remember/miss.

  • Bike rides around town on my gay light blue beach cruiser
  • Close to all nighters with red bulls and coffee
  • studying in shields library and getting distracted every 10 minutes
  • Turning in papers within minutes of the deadline (actually wont miss this)
  • Beer pong and flip cup games with the friends
  • EPIC FIFA games with Jeremiah the last 3 years (probly played over 5,000 games...ATLEAST)
  • Coming back from tests and blaring my favorite music to ease the pain
  • Late night drunken run ins at Jack in The Box and Taco Bell
  • The entire G St Pub, but mostly the dance floor
  • Food Places: Zia's Delicatessen, Taqueria Guadalajara, Silver Dragon, Ohana Hawaiian BBQ, Teahouse, Habit Burger, In N Out, Taqueria Davis, The Local Safeway, Longs, Nugget Supermarket, Subway
  • Late night bongo sessions after the bars
  • Trips to Dixon Super Walmart
  • Picnic Day
  • Whole Earth Festival
  • The Coffee House
  • The Dining Commons
  • The ARC, mostly playin bball cuz clearly that weight room just didn't really do it for me.
  • Watching sporting events even though all our teams think they're good when they are not. UC Davis BBALL is a joke, I am sorry, but nontheless games were fun to go to. I made more fun of our team than i did of the opposing teams.
  • Seeing Bike accidents, usually dumb freshman that don't understand how bike circles work.

With that, I sum up this grand post. Davis, THANK YOU. I would not be the same person I am today without this college experience. It truly was a great fit for me, and the rough early times quickly led to great times. It has been a college experience I will never forget and something that I will always cherish, cuz I know most things that I have to look forward in the rest of my life, don't even compare with the best four years of living the college life.

No comments:

Post a Comment