Our university is the fourth ranked university of California behind UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC San Diego. UC Davis has been stereotyped as being the "reject" school where students choose to go if they don't make it into the "top" UCs. It is also stereotyped as being no one's first choice school. I am an exception to this stereotype. While I was in high school, UC Davis was my dream school. I worked hard in order to be eligible to be accepted onto this campus. I applied to two other UCs my senior year and got into all of them. I even chose to reject my acceptance to UC Berkeley because UC Davis had always been my first choice. I have met many other students here who have rejected offers from higher ranked colleges. In the end, the most important factor in choosing a college is a place where the student feels they belong and a place where they offer their major (if the student is sure of what they want to study). The rank of the school shouldn't even be considered a factor, a University of California education is prestigious no matter which one they end up going to.
When people think of UC Davis at least one of two things comes to mind: tree hugging liberal stoners and/or farmers. Due to recent events, most of America now thinks of Davis students as protesting hippies. To some extent there are hippies who live in co-ops and grow their own food. To some extent there are many students studying to become veterinarians, plant scientists, landscape architects, viticulturists and farmers. Davis, as a city, really isn't as rural as everyone makes it out to be. There aren't cows roaming in the pastures. The Greek life at Davis is actually huge. We have a frat row where all of the fraternity and sorority houses are located. There are many different activities and groups at Davis, from theater and sports to public interest research groups and cultural clubs. The Davis stereotype should not limit you from doing something you love. You choose your own path once you get to Davis.
The first thing everyone thinks of when they hear "Davis, California" is our "aggie" reputation; more specifically, they've heard of the cows we have on campus. Students here are stereotyped as small-town, agricultural, granola eating, Birkenstock wearing, quiet young adults. Once you get to Davis, however, your eyes are opened up to the reality of our campus. Davis is an incredible mix of all types: from the real life aggies (Animal Science majors, Horse Barn interns, community garden growers), to a plethora of pre-meds (Sacramento hospitals are always looking for student interns), to jocks (you can't go to a lecture without seeing at least one person decked out in a UCD sport's team attire), to sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, singers, dancers, painters, activists, thugs, hippies, nerds... you name it! Once people get here, they see it is impossible to lump our students into one category.
When people think of UC Davis, they usually think we are all anti-social, stuck up people who only care about farming and cows and plants. This couldn't be farther from the truth. There is one word that I can use to describe UC Davis: eclectic. UC Davis, the 3rd largest of the UC's in term of enrollment and 1st in terms of physical size, has a huge range of groups that make up our student population. Just by strolling through the Coho (Coffee House) you can see Aggie band members, fraternity and sorority members, people with their heads deep in books, hippies, skaters, and almost any other group sitting down at tables right next to each other. If there is a group you are looking for because it is one you already belong to, or a new group you are trying to join you will be able to find them at Davis!
Because UC Davis is such a large university virtually every kind of student can be found on our campus. We definitely have our fair share of nature loving, outdoorsy types because of our close proximity to the Sierras. There are also a lot of academically enthusiastic students as well as talented athletes (Davis is a D1 school now). There are a lot of Greeks, but the students that are involved in the greek system aren't the typical sorority girls and frat boys. The Greek kids are very laid back and extremely friendly. Every stereotype exists on campus, although if you're looking for an indy druggie crowd you may have a more difficult time finding it. Overall there is no such thing as a typical UC Davis student because such a diversity of people attend this university.
UC Davis is far from diverse when it comes to the student body. While I don't deny that there are many different people of varying ethnicities and cultures, it will take you quite a while to find them. The majority of people who you will encounter at UCD are Asian and White students. And as a general rule, most of us are a little geeky. As far as that stereotype is concerned, it is definitely true. Those of us who do not fit into that first category are usually Agriculture Majors (hence the name UC Davis Aggies). And oh are they a sight to behold. I have seen a couple of them romping around campus with their cowboy boots and hats, they are however a rare bunch.
The students at University of California, Davis come from a prestigious background. Many students bring with them a breadth of knowledge and are commonly stereotyped as geeks. Also like many UC campuses, the stereotype of large Asian communities is widespread. Although the correlation between both stereotypes of "geeky" and "Asian", go hand in hand, nonetheless this may not always be the case. UC Davis is also stereotyped for being a university that is strong in agriculture, bio and veterinary sciences.
Some stereotypes at Davis would have to be everyone in a fraternity parties and get drunk every night. Not all fraternities people party. There are professional fraternities such as pre-med, business, and community service. These fraternities make a difference in their school, community and country. Also, students who chose Davis are did not get accepted to any other school. For some, this may be true, but most is not the case. I have met so many people who chose Davis over other schools.
This "stereotype" is pretty accurate. The students here are really friendly which makes it easy to find a study buddy in your classes. If you have a question before an exam, most of the time, the person next to you will be happy to answer it for you. We all work hard and do not mind helping out a fellow student. The atmosphere here is very relaxing. When the weather is nice, you will find people studying on the grass area of the quad or playing a game of hackey sack.
Students at UC Davis are unique in their ability to uphold excellent academic standings while maintaining a humble, grounded, outgoing demeanor. Students here are welcoming and more than happy to dialogue and meet new people. As focused as we are here at Davis, when the weekend roles around, students are ready to have a good time and unleash all the pent up stress accumulated throughout the week. There really is no better student body to be found anywhere, period.