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University of California-Davis

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What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

It is nearly impossible to choose your major correctly the first time. You cannot change the world in a day, nor is it your place to say what is right and wrong. College is a place for learning, not assuming you already know the right path for you. Others will have differing views of the world, but that should never interfere with friendship and love. This Campus is very diverse and accepting of all backgrounds relative to most, so if you have touble getting along with people who see things differently, this school will be a miserable place for you.

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The one thing I wish I knew was how rigorous and fast-pace speed the quarter systems are, opposed to semester system schools. The quarter system gives students the opportunity to register for various classes in the same given time as a semester system however that forces the quarter system classes to be condensed in the shorter given time. The fast pace speed is something that I will adjust myself to willingly. Everything comes with a sacrifice though, and I view this fast pace system as a challange; for me to rise to the occasion and earn my education.

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I wish that I would have taken more Chemistry classes in high school. Chemistry is such an important subject for my major at at my univeristy in general, and it would have been very valuable for me to have already had a very good foundation and understanding of the fundamentals before coming to this university. I would have also liked to have been a little more well versed in mathematics, as it is also essential to my major. While I have a better foundation in this than in Chemistry, a more detailed understanding would have been beneficial.

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I wish I had known more about the importance of going to office hours for professors and TAs. Even if you think you understand the material, it is ALWAYS beneficial to get to know your professor, and for them to get to know you as well. There are so many opportunities that can arise from being familiar with your professor - recommendation letters, internships, research. These are all things that will benefit you in the long run. Also, try EVERYTHING. You don't really know what you like and what you don't until you have things to compare.

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I wish I had known that online classes are definitely not the best options for me. I also wish I had known what running on a quarter system felt like before going into this school. I knew about the system and how classes are only ten weeks long, but I didn't realize how fast that pace was until actually experiencing it. My high school ran by a semester system, like other universities. Time management is definitely a key skill for success in college, but even more necessary to succeed in a quarter system run, research university.

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I wish I would have known that the town of Davis itself was relatively small. There is not much to do around town besides go out for dinner. Luckily Sacramento is close and has more to do there. Also, it would have been nice to know that it is hard to find a study abroad program with a biology major. Most of the programs are set up for English and History type majors. They do have marine biology emphasis programs but not for other types of biology. I really wish they would set a good program for biology abroad.

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I wish I knew how much of an impact high school units/credit would be. It makes a great difference with the amount of workload it prepares you for college and helps you register for courses with an easier schedule. Registration is imperative to obtaining a good schedule which will affect what times you can study, coming and going from campus, and what kind of social life you will have time for. Students should have good organizational skills which is directly related to time management in order to succeed.

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College is the place to get ahead but remember everything is not always study, study, study. Life shouldn't be that way. I spent way too many Friday and Saturday nights alone, wondering why I wan't out doing something else. If I could do it again, would I? Who am I to say? If we all had a flux capacitor then surely we would all have perfect histories. Unfortunately that is not the case and here I am now, a graduate who accomplished it in three years but looking at my graduate opportunites as a new start.

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The first few weeks of college are incredibly crucial. Not only do you need to stay absolutely on top of your academics since Davis is on the quarter system, but this is the very best time to make new friends. Everybody is in your boat - they all need friends. So be friendly, and make the effort to meet as many people as you can, whether it is in your class, in the DC, on your floor, or in a club. For classes, spend some time at least once a week reviewing your notes - don't cram right before finals.

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I do not wish that I had known anything that I did not know already before coming to this school. I believe I learned everything and found out about everything when I needed to. However, one thing I would tell others about is the experimental college. If you like to dance, do yoga, want to learn an instument, or just want to have a non-traditional class, you should check out the experimental college and see what they're offering. These classes aren't for credit, they're for fun.

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