- Class: Alum
- Major: International Relations
- Gender: F
- High School: Royal High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about UC Davis is its small-town atmosphere and the fun downtown. There are lots of restaurants and a few movie theaters in walking distance to the campus. This is especially nice if you are a freshman and not allowed to bring a car with you to school. As a student, I spent a lot of time in the Coffee House. This is a great place to grab lunch, coffee, read the paper, study, or people watch. There is a LOT of indoor and outdoor seating. The Coffee House is the heart of the UCD campus and backs up to the quad area, which is a big grassy lounge when the weather is nice. During the spring, the quad area is bustling with campus groups tabling, frisbee tossers, nap takers, class-ditchers, and friends catching up. Another great thing about Davis is how close it is to a lot of fun places in Northern California. San Francisco, Napa and Tahoe are all close enough to take a day trip. Sports events at UCD are really fun to attend. The Aggie Pack is a big student group on campus that pumps up the crowd at games. At football and basketball games they launch free UCD tube socks and burritos (wrapped in foil) into the crowd. A new football stadium was just constructed and 2007 was the first season it was used. I've heard it's a great facility. UCD just moved into Division 1 sports, so I think the teams are just starting to get better and better. If I could change one thing about Davis, I would add more conservative professors to balance out the unbalanced political rhetoric that gets spewed out in every class ad nauseam. (I discovered only one moderate professor during my four years of studying.) The caliber of professors at UCD, however, is quite impressive. I enjoyed almost all of my classes. Overall, UC Davis is a great school with a lot of fabulous people and wonderful professors.
I highly recommend that incoming freshmen enroll in Freshman seminars. Coming from high school to a huge university can be intimidating because your classes suddenly have 500 people and you can feel lost. Freshman seminars are one unit classes about random and really interesting topics. There are usually about 10-15 students in each class, and it's a great way to get to know people. My favorite class was Rome and Mediterranean Classics. It was like a history course but with a little extra flavor. The professors I had who teach history courses were all outstanding. Prof. Rauchway teaches a great American history course, and Professor Landau has a few interesting courses on medieval history. The education at UCD is geared more towards learning than job training, which is how college should be, I believe. You learn job training on the job.
UC Davis is generally very diverse and welcoming of differing points of view. There are many organizations on campus for whatever beliefs you hold. I'm not sure I can think of a particular type of student that may feel out of place at UCD - perhaps a student who is accustomed to surfing daily? The nearest beach is a few hours away. Most UCD students are from within California. It was pretty uncommon to find out-of-state students, but when I did, they seemed to really enjoy the change of pace. I would guess that the majority of students come from middle and upper-middle class family homes. Students at UCD tend to be overall very politically aware and active. Most of them are typically left of center, although there are groups on campus for conservative students as well. Regardless of your political beliefs, I think you can find a community that fits in with your views at Davis.
The Best Things
The college town atmosphere
The Worst Things
It's very far from the beach