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University of California-Davis

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

The hardest part about choosing the best fit college is knowing what you want in the first place. So decide on major necessities, like a gym, big library, or research facilities... Included in this is environment. Focus on population density, urban vs. suburban, and faculty/student ratios. They will deeply impact your ability to feel comfortable and enjoy what the school has to offer. One should consider how they might be inspired by the surrounding culture. Look for the most extracurriculars that relate to your passions. Thanks to Davis I fell in love with bikes and became an ambassador of sustaianable practices. So ensure that there are locally popular music venues, or art galleries, or strong community aspects of any sort. College towns are very supportive and motivating environments. Social interaction is key, don't hesitate to make connections with professors and other faculty. Similarly, it's important to have good public transportation. Saving money can be crucial for those trying to afford college. I've never needed a car, or considered it. Basically, take advantage of the local oppurtunities and get involved. You'll be happiest and most willing to engage if your passions guide your college search.

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My most valuable experience at during college was the many interactions I was able to have with other people. As a freshmen, I lived in the dormatory and was able to befriend with a diverse amount of students. Some students came from Southern California, Bay Area, and out of state. From these students, I learned a great deal about different lifestyles and how different everyone is. Some of these students became great friends, others became great acquaintance that provided me with help later in my college career. My interactions with other people grew when I joined a campus organization and eventually became the president of the organization. No longer was I restricted to interactions with people within my age group, but I began dealing with elders and people with much more life experience than myself. This experience taught me to respect other people's ideas and personal opinions. In addition, I learned so much more about interpersonal communication. As we all become older, we all must learn to interact with other people, younger and older than ourselves. Attending college has provided me with the opportunity to learn and experience the personal interactions that I could not obtain elsewhere.

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Being able to attend a university has been rewarding on many levels. I was able to push myself academically. More importantly, I learned to work with people - fellow students, professors, teaching assistants, faculty members, and even strangers. The university offers a variety of settings for learning and interacting with people. This has helped me understand how to work within a diverse group. I feel confident now in effectively contributing and influencing the efforts of a team that I am working with. Attending UC Davis has also given me access to so many resources. Through randomly applying for a rafting job at an on campus outdoor organization, I was exposed to all sorts of outdoor activities. I did not know what I had been missing out on! I plan to continue enjoying these sorts of activities for the rest of my life. I have also had access to all sorts of other extracurricular activities where I was able to explore my abilities and interests. Succeeding academically requires a lot of discipline, responsibility, maturity, time management, work, and focus. I find applying the same commitment to hobbies and interests outside of school or work strengthens my performance and enjoyment in all areas.

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College has taught me to swim against the tide of single-minded academic achievement by advocating for greater societal change. From my endless SAT-AP study sessions in high school to a similar barrage of testing at UC Davis, I allowed anxiety to direct my life. Further, having conditioned myself to high-stakes testing performance, I came to internalize the notion that my identity and personal worth hinged upon my GPA and academic awards. Only when I met my future fiancé at UC Davis did I begin to value other aspects of my worth than my ability to regurgitate accepted knowledge. Upon meeting Ernesto Rodriguez, I was struck by his dedication to the concerns of his majority migrant community back in Greenfield, CA and I also latched myself to immigrant labor and education struggles. By incorporating a reading of migrant issues into my studies, both during my undergraduate program in International Relations and now as I study Education- Equity and Social Justice, I combine my dedication to academics with my purposeful desire to uplift the standing of indigenous Mexicans along the Monterey coast. Once we finish our schooling, Ernesto and I intend to return to Greenfield as social change advocates.

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I have learned two things that I think are essential for every prospective student making decisions about college, and looking for a worthwhile and satisfying college experience. For me, choosing a college was very difficult because I didn't have a specific school in mind a and my major was undeclared. The truth is that I knew almost immediately that UC Davis was my school when I first stepped onto campus. I was able to picture myself biking from class to class and breathing everything in. And here I am, almost 3 years later, quite content with the scenery and environment that I have absorbed and loved as my own. It is extremely important to feel a connection to your campus and its surrounding environment because it will probably be your home for a couple of years. My second advice is to learn to balance academics with passion. Mastering balance can mean takiing 4 difficult academic classes a quarer while still finding time to squeeze jazz dance into your schedule. The most successful students keep their academic and passion priorities close together, eventually finding ways to incorporate these priorities into a satisying future and a satisfying career.

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My collegiate experience encompassed not only what was taught within the classroom, but more importantly, what I learned outside of the classroom walls. College is a time for self-discovery, exploration, and social learning. While my lectures and classroom experience was of value, it was the friendships, experiences, trials and failures that I endured outside of class, that have helped shape me into the person I am today, with the goals I now possess. College is a time to explore new possibilities, to propel yourself out of your comfort zone, and to explore new possibilities. The physical act of leaving one's childhood home, in preparation for the college experience is such an important time for personal growth. It is with this juncture from the known that students attending college for the first time have the commonality of feeling estranged, alone, and uncertain with their entire freshman class. It is through this commonality that bonds are formed, fears are subsided, and lifelong friends are made. I encourage all students to attend college, if for no other reason than to experience firsthand, what the collegiate experience will teach, outside of the classroom walls.

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parents should be involved with their children's education as much as possible. Because I am a first generation immigrant whose parents didnt graduate high school; I was completly alone in the college experience. My parents didnt help financially or otherwise. I would engourge parents to be hands on with their children's education and their college choices. I would choose a college where the student would be enabled to succeed in the college experince. I wouldn't reccomend a college because of prestige or cost, but I reccomend a college where a student would feel like they belong in a family away from family. I have met many young adults that have dropped out of college because of pregnancy, binge drinking, sexual assaults, depression, and many other conditions that made them feel disoriented. I would caution parents that education comes before social life and that their is medication that treats depression and mental conditions that would make a student struggle in college. Money is a huge burden on students nation wide. I engourge parents to save as much money as possible for their children because I know part time jobs can be a hassle and a damper on grades,

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My college degree will transform me, as an immigrant, into a unique “mix” that is not just mixed-blood between different civilizations. I would not be able to obtain my college degree in America without being more or less proficient in English. As a new immigrant, I will be bilingual in Chinese and English – mix of languages. By the time I obtain my college degree, I will be mixed both in education and culture. For example, many Americans consider “thirteen” as an unlucky number because of historical events; however, I see it as a fabulous, lively number in a Chinese viewpoint. Therefore, this success proves that I will fulfill American Dream because I have a common Chinese dream which is to reach beyond the endless sea of knowledge with hard-work. My college degree will display me as a hard-worker, and a top performer in particular areas. Moreover, my college degree will demonstrate my mixed tastes of coldness and warmness of human nature because I would have been through many affairs with a variety emotions when I get my college degree. In conclusion, my college degree demonstrates my ability to adapt abript changes and accept different cultures and values.

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The advice that I would give parents and/or students about finding the right college and making the most of their college experience would be to go and visit their top colleges of choice on several different occasions and once admitted, get involved. Choosing the right college is very important when it comes to academic performance. The student is more likely to perform well at a college where he or she feels comfortable. Therefore, visiting more than one college of preferred choice on several different occasions increases the chance that the student will feel adapted to a certain college over the others, upon which he or she will base their decision. Once on campus, get involved. There are many different activities on campus to get involved in whether it be a club, fraternity/sorority, volunteering, community service, etc. Once involved the student will feel a greater sense of belonging on that campus which will help make their college experince more memorable and exciting. Remember, you reap the benefits of your college experience only what you sew into it. Choosing a college will be one of the biggest decisions of your life, make it the right one.

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Choosing the right college has long reaching effects in not only the quality of education and preparation for students? future professions, but on the relationships and friendships they will forge while in college. What I?ve found after applying to both college and graduate school is that the faculty makes the biggest difference in choosing a college. More than a college?s prestige, location, or size is the faculty. The range of knowledge and skills that I gained from the men and women who taught my classes at UC Davis are what proved to me I made the right choice in going to UC Davis for college. Their passion and extensive knowledge of their fields make me proud to have been their student. The best way for students to benefit from their years in college is to find a unique balance between academics and their social lives. Living in the dorms my freshman year helped me forge circles of friends that still exist, despite the years and distance between us since we met. Students need to be self reliant and proactive in making time for both their coursework and developing lasting friendships with the variety of people they meet.

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