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College Reflections of a Graduating Senior

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! In between all the happy moments and celebrations, I find myself reflecting on everything that is college –– the traditional and the unexpected. This week, like many other people on the precipice of stepping into their next chapter as symbolized by a commencement ceremony (both in-person and virtually), I documented all my lasts –– last lecture, last assignment, last article, last internship meeting, and soon-to-be last final. This prompted me to think about all the people who have come into my life throughout these last four years, so here is my toast to UC Davis:

College goodbyes are so different from regular goodbyes because you meet so many different people, and some will become lifelong friends while others simply become somebody you wish well. I feel so incredibly lucky to have friends with whom I share the purest form of love and support. My roommates and I actually met at the beginning of this academic year, and I could have never guessed that the reality of living together would exceed my expectations. This tribute becomes sentimental for me to write because of how special these two people are. I hope everyone has the opportunity to experience this overwhelmingly happy form of love. The tally marks on our Heart and Brain calendar, talking about the history of homosapiens (I love Lucy), and movie and game nights are held very close to my heart. Thank you for sharing my last year of college with me. L’chaim! 


friends talking over coffee
Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels

I have also met the most compassionate and inclusive people in college –– the kind of compassion that takes a moment mid-story to explain some background before continuing the jokes; that prioritizes kindness over any personal want; that doesn’t count ‘tit for tat’; that checks up on you; that helps you with your upcoming job interviews; that always has a shoulder for you to lean on; that picks up a coffee for you knowing how busy you are. Additionally, I’m grateful to foster meaningful mentorships; I have learned so much in my field of study and gained the wisdom of many professors through classes and internships. This sort of guidance is so special because it allows you to apply your skills and knowledge to real-world situations. 

When things were difficult for me this year, it was hard to broaden my perspective beyond the situation at hand. To anyone who has or is currently experiencing a hard time, I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, as cliché as it sounds. This year has proven that concept time and time again, and I’m so much happier for it. My advice to anyone in college is to let things (both the positive and negative) happen, and everything else will fall into place.


white long sleeve shirt sitting on grass
Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

Reminiscing on the past four years, I feel so thankful for all the people I have met and learned from, experiences that guide my present and future perspectives, and growth as an individual and a professional. College goodbyes are harder than regular ones, but that’s what makes them so special.   

Jacqueline Ling is fourth-year student at UC Davis, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Professional Writing. She is also a laboratory assistant for a DNA sequencing facility on campus, and hopes to enter a career in the sciences or journalism after graduation. In her spare time, she enjoys making Spotify playlists, taking photos with her friends, and trying new foods.
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