Despite the increased student Fee's plaguing the UC system as a whole, it was not that which struck me as worst. It was, in fact, the result of this, which took the focus of the process of educating myself and other students, and was put onto the politics of the situation. Universities are places of research and education, and the reaction by students, administrators, and professor's during this last year has turned a learning instiution into a political one, which, in my opinion is unacceptable. This change of attitude is the msot frustrating thing about this school.
Most classes tend to be very big in class size. It is very hard to meet with the professor directly. Students are very academically competitive and sometimes are not friendly at all. The campus is really big and some places are hard to find. There are many bikes and many students in between classes and therefore provides traffic. Parking is hard to find in the beginning of the school year. Long lines during exam days everywhere in the school. Smell of the agriculture nearby produces unwanted smell. Professors give excessive amounts of information during lecture hours.
The most frustrating thing about my school is the lack of financial aid and scholarships available to low-income, disadvantaged students without parents. My mother died when I was five and I never knew or met my father. According to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and my university, I had to file as an independent student because I did not have parental income to file as a dependent student. As a result, I received less grant money and more loans than my dependent counterparts. This is a flaw in the system that needs to be fixed immediatly!
The financial aid counselors are incompetent and inconsistent with their answers. I visited their office and spoke with many of their representatives on separate occassions for my financial aid package for this year's summer courses, but they told me at the very last minute that their grants were depleted. Despite registering early to be eligible for financial aid, I had to drop all my classes. They kept on telling me that the aid packages would be finalized in a few days, but days turned into weeks and my package still wasn't done.
The most frustrating thing about my school was trying to figure out how to sign up for classes for the first time. I missed the opportunities for orientation regarding course registration and didn't know who to ask for help. I overheard other students talking about shared courses and realized that I wasn't in the same boat. Signed up for upper division courses I selected out of pure interest the day before classes started, I was fortunately able to get the help I needed from a floor advisor for freshman (separate from the RA).
The most frustrating thing about UC Davis is the class sizes. The classes I have to take for my major are mostly in big lecture halls which create a very impersonal level of education and learning. I must admit I was aware of this when I chose this school, and it is a small sacrifice for the education I am receiving. However, if it were a perfect world, I would prefer to be taught in smaller sized classrooms for the classes that are most important towards my major like Chemistry, Biology, and Math.
The most frustrating thing about UC Davis is how difficult it is to register in classes that you need. For example, the majority of science-related majors are required to take the General Chemistry series, but every quarter, it is almost impossible for new students to get in. This is partly because freshmen and sophomores are only allowed to register after upperclassmen, but it is also because there are not enough spots in the laboratories for all the students that need the class.
I believe that my school lacks a solid liberal arts community. Nearly 40% of the graduating class receives a degree in psychology, while most other graduates are in pre-med, engineering, or animal science related majors. There is a lack of development within the Arts, and yet UCD maintains, for example, a very strong undergraduate English department. Regardless, the school does not seem to give much support or draw enough students interested in a Liberal Arts education.
The most frustrating thing for me during my freshman year is the fact that there are thousands od students on class. Because of this, you are constantly competing against other students in order to get in classes. Most students do not get the classes that the introductory classes that they need for their major because everyone is trying to get into that class. My suggestion to prevent this would be to join a club that provides priority registration, such as TRiO or EOP.
The most frustating thing is the dining commons. Its true that UC Davis offers a wide variety of food but overall they just do not know how to prepare their food very well. The chefs should really work on their seasoning. Another factor about the food is that UC Davis tries to focus on being vegan and vegetarian friendly which causes them to push these types of food upon students, they pretty much push aside the needs of students who actually enjoy meat.