It’s Happening!


{peace out UCD}

On June 15th, 2013, I strolled across the UC Davis pavilion stage to accept my bachelor’s double-major degree in International Relations & Spanish, tucked neatly into a diploma presented by the Dean of Letters & Sciences.

…well, that scene isn’t entirely as picturesque as it sounds. I felt tired, anxious, and awkward as I walked across the stage, unsure of whether to shake the Dean’s hand, give him a high-five, or go in for the big bear hug (to make it seem to my parents like I actually attended Dean’s office hours the past four years and had established some kind of relationship full of mutual respect and admiration). My four best friends trailed behind me and, as I stopped to turn and watch them walk across the stage after I’d  dismounted, I was yanked by an attendant and ordered to “keep the procession going.” Then, I stumbled onto a blue square in front of a white canvas, was told to smile and -before I could even compile my face into a somewhat-pleasant demeanor- became temporarily blinded by the professional photographer’s huge contraption as it captured my confused and pained expression. Then I was yanked again by a different attendant and told to file back to my seat.

So, outside of a pulled arm socket and fake dipolma (used as a place holder for the “real thing” to ensure you’ve cashed out all you owe UCD, and it’s confirmed the registrar no longer has any use for you), the ceremony was impassive. A two-hour formality that served as a pathetic, inadequate summary for the amazing four years UC

(me with my best friends before graduation)

(me with my best friends before graduation)

Davis has bestowed upon the thousands of students in my graduating class. Regardless, I was honored to be a part of such a ceremony, and felt full of pride as I turned around and saw my mom, dad, grandma, and aunt waving at me from the stands.

The University of California, Davis is an amazing school, and I will always be proud to be an Aggie. The experiences I’ve had are equally important as the knowledge I’ve ingested.

It’s ironic though, how much you can learn in a short period of time. The past 4 years changed me more than the eight preceding. And my 6 months abroad altered my outlook more than those 12 mentioned. Along with that, I’ll conclude with  some lessons I learned the week leading up to my June 15th commencement:

Sometimes you gotta put down the coffee and….

take a shower, breathe some fresh air, or take a nap, before powering through the next 6 hours. I don’t know why I just realized this, but I’ve come to the sad realization that caffeine does not always work. Not because you’ve grown “immune” (though I probably have), but because the stimulant isn’t what your body needs at that moment. If you feel lethargic after a draining math problem, coffee isn’t going to restore those brain cells. If you’ve eaten a donut and feel sluggish, coffee isn’t going to make you skinnier. Think of alternate ways to supercharge your body to accomplish what you need.

Everyone’s human

A funny thing is, as I was walking across that stage to receive my diploma, I recognized some of the officials’ faces. They were members at my gym, and I had either handled their billing, taken their picture, or issued them member cards at one point or another. I never feel intimidated by members at the gym, however I would have groveled at the foot of any one of the deans/advisors/professors on stage due to their rank. It’s funny when you’re reminded that each of those esteemed figures is the same as you: we all wake up in the morning, think of what to wear, make decisions on where to eat lunch, and have different routines before bedtime. Even Beyoncé. It’s true. She’s human.

Don’t be afraid to get yelled at

I experienced my first work conflict this past graduation week, and it was TERRIFYING. Basically, my boss (who, remember, is human) accused me of something I didn’t do and it turned into an ordeal. At first I wanted to just apologize, smooth things over, and make sure everyone was happy. But as the issue grew, I realized it would be unfair to me to let that happen, so I confronted my boss, told him I didn’t agree with the situation, and proceeded to voice my resolution. He disagreed and told me so in intense, adverse terms. I stood my ground, and in the end, I think he gained more respect for me and learned a lesson or two about how to treat others. I had endured the fiasco, and came out realizing  it takes teamwork to form a strong unit, and each individual’s opinion must be considered in order to form a reliable, sturdy base.

and drumroll please for this mind-blowing one…..

Drinking water {after drinking …err otherrr things} before bed makes a HUGE difference

The week (ok, two weeks if I want to be honest) leading up to graduation was full of nights out with friends. We wanted to squeeze out every last droplet of what was left in college. So most nights would be long, and end either at my friends’ apartment, or sitting outside on our patio with my neighbors. Because we would spend hours talking after drinking, your hand felt lonely if it wasn’t holding a glass. So I’d grab my nalgene and start swigging water. Two hour conversations and 32 ounces of water in my belly later, I’d tuck in for the night. And let me tell YOU what a difference you feel the next day!! If you flood hangover-ville with water, it’s very hard for its residents (like gluttony and lethargy) to stay for long. You crave less fried food, and don’t need to pop as many advils throughout the day.

2 thoughts on “It’s Happening!

  1. yoanthesunking says:

    Hey, I’m an incoming Freshman at UC Davis! I will also be majoring in IR so if you have any tips, I would greatly appreciate them!

    • The Wanderita says:

      Ya, definetily! I could probably just write a whole blog post about it. First, explore the different tracks as a freshman since you’ll have more time this year. A lot of the classes cross over, so take those and see what track best fits you! Also, I advise taking Public Speaking (a comm class) and freshman seminars. Let me know any specific question I can answer, and I’ll be more than happy to help 🙂

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