What It Feels like to Be a Senior at UC Davis

As my graduation from UC Davis gets closer and closer, I have found myself feeling so. many. things. The past couple of months have been a whirlwind of emotions, ranging from excitement and hopefulness to fear and premature nostalgia. While it is somewhat thrilling to begin to plan my life post-graduation, I can’t help but have those moments that sting simply because I know they will be over soon.

UC Davis has given me so much. It has served as a space for me to explore my wants, needs, and purpose as a student, a friend, a partner, and a young adult. It has given me an education that has opened doors for me professionally and has challenged me to find my true passions. It has given me the opportunity to join clubs and organizations that have widened my horizons and given me a sense of community (Hi, Active Minds! Hi, Pi Phi! Hi, Her Campus!). UC Davis has brought me my absolute best friends. It has been a space for me to grow in directions I never would have expected. UC Davis has become my home and I am so grateful that I had the privilege to go here.

When I began at Davis, I was one of many who came here begrudgingly because I didn’t get into the other, more flashy school I wanted to go to. I thought Davis was just concrete and cows and that I would never find my place here. Boy, was I wrong. Davis is so much more than its cows, and I think we can all attest to that.

I have thoroughly and completely enjoyed my time at Davis and it feels surreal to be looking at the end of my time here. I want to take the next couple months to put my all into everything that makes me love this place. I want to go to every restaurant downtown — and even break my gluten-free diet for certain things (ahem, 3rd & U breakfast burrito). I want to spend every day in the Arboretum, even if it means I have to fill my eyes with eye drops every hour. I want to swim at Hickey Pool whenever possible, because who knows when I’ll live so close to a pool again. I want to continue trying out every single hot tub in the town of Davis until I find that *perfect* one. I want to go out as much as humanly possible (sleep is for post-graduation, right?). I want to give my all to the organizations I am in and hopefully pass on some knowledge to those approaching their final year. I want to do all of it and more.

While I know that I will probably do a lot more lying in the sun than completing my senior bucket list, just knowing that there is so much I love here warms my heart. I never could have expected Davis to become so special to me. I feel so grateful for everything it has taught me and all of the amazing people it has brought me, and I know that these things will follow me post-graduation.

It is hard to put into words what it feels like to be a senior at UC Davis. Maybe it’s the confidence and sureness that I feel when I look at my professional life after leaving. Or maybe it is the longing I feel to have four more years. Or maybe it’s the goosebumps I get when I look back at all the memories I’ve made here. Whatever it is, I know it’s complicated and both sad and amazing.

I am exceptionally wretched to be leaving Davis, but I know that this place has equipped me with the experience and love that will take me as far as I would like.