Davis, California

If you’ve read some of my latest posts, you’ll know I was taking a summer class in San Diego. I had a blast there, both in the class and with my roommates.

Well, in a stunning turn of events, I find myself taking another summer class in….. Davis, California!

If you’ve never heard of Davis before, let me quickly fill you in. It’s a very small college town in the middle of a bajillion cows. Just kidding, there are a few haystacks too.

Anyways, Davis is known for being a huge agriculture town and that’s what the school is known for too. The school is also known for having a huge biking community, so much so that the town is literally home to the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.

I’ve been here for two weeks already, and let me tell you, I’m missing the beaches of San Diego. I’ve found myself in my room a lot these past weeks, trying to avoid the heat.

As a self proclaimed wanderess, being in this tiny room for hours on end is driving me insane! I had a little mental breakdown because of my boredom, so I’ve been making it a point to spend as little time in that room as possible.

Instead, I’ve been doing things like…

…doing homework in coffee shops. This picture was taken at the CoffeeHouse (CoHo) which is the largest student run “restaurant” in the US, which is really cool.

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… reading in the hammocks. I was actually lying on the grass in this picture, but you can see the blue hammocks in the background. They’re such a popular napping spot that I have to wait on the grass for one to clear out!

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…biking around campus to see the horses and cows.

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…visiting the famous Davis Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. All the fruits and veggies looked so pretty, it was hard not to take pictures of everything. I have so many pictures, but this one was by far my favorite 🙂

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Minimalism

Living in a college dorm for four weeks has made me very aware of a few things. First, I don’t use nearly as much stuff as I thought I did. And second, I don’t need nearly as much stuff as I thought I did.

In my dorm room I have three drawers of clothes, a space for hangers, three shelves, a desk, and a bed. It doesn’t sound like a lot of space, but I don’t have a lot of things.

I probably brought less than half the clothes that I own, but strangely- it’s the perfect amount. At home, I would stare at my closet and think the infamous saying, “I have nothing to wear!” However, here I look at the shirts I’ve brought and I just pick one and put it on. It’s so much simpler, because I know that the clothes I’ve brought are the ones I’m actually going to wear. It goes to show how many extra shirts I have at home that I bought thinking, “Yeah, this shirt looks cool,” and then never wear.

Besides clothes, I have a bunch of random stuff /trinkets at home that I’ve never gotten rid of, but also don’t use. Every time I try to do a room clean out, though, I always keep every thing thinking, “I might need that one day.”

That’s why pictures are so special for me, though. Pictures allow us to remember events, vacations, people, and feelings that can’t be shown through random objects. I would rather have a room full of pictures than one full of trinkets.

I’ve always been interested in minimalism as a concept, and living in such a small space this summer has reinforced this idea that we don’t need a lot of material items in order to function.

As soon as I get home, I plan on sifting through my room with this minimalism idea in mind. I know it’s going to be hard to part with some items because of my sentimentality, but I also need to keep in mind that during my stay in a dorm I was completely okay with a few shelves worth of stuff and three drawers worth of clothes.

PS- This minimalism mentality does NOT apply to books. I will continue to hoard those until the end of time 🙂

Let me know in the comments if you are interested in minimalism or if you live by a minimalist philosophy! If you are a minimalist, let me know about your transition into this lifestyle.

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Let’s talk about…

Community College.

As I said in the last post, I do attend community college and I wanted to talk more about that.

I feel like community college gets such a bad rap (maybe just where I’m from) and it really doesn’t deserve it. I’m guilty of looking down on it too, but I’ve since changed my stance.

I used to think that community college was a last resort place where only people who flunked out of high school go. Yes, there are people like that, but there are also so many other types of people: brilliant kids who couldn’t afford a 4-year school, international kids who are trying to work the system, adults who are rekindling their passion for learning, and kids like me who ended up there by chance.

Throughout my first year in community college, I’ve been exposed to the many benefits of this route- saving money (like so much money that I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t take this route), having small class sizes (my biggest class is a 60 person lecture), and getting to scope out different majors and classes before spending lots of time and money switching in a 4 year university.

All of these benefits are great, but there are a few downsides that I’ve experienced. The biggest one is transferring.

My goal going in to JC (junior college) was to transfer out as fast as I could. This is a lot harder than it sounds. For one thing, I’m 18 years old and I have no idea what the hell I want to do for the rest of my life. Sure, I’m interested in the brain, so I just default to what I’ve heard and just say neuroscience. But my JC doesn’t offer major specific classes like Neuroscience, so I have no idea what it actually entails.

The other thing that I didn’t know going in was that each (public) college that I consider transferring to has slightly different prerequisites for the same major. So forget about transferring out in two years if you have a high unit major, because by the time you actually decide what specific major you want and what schools you want to keep open, you’ll already have been in school for a year.

I really don’t want to discourage anyone from considering community college as an option, because I truly think the positives outweigh the negatives, but I also want people to know what their getting into, because I didn’t. It’s just frustrating to go into something with no resources. But I hope this didn’t completely turn anyone off of community college.

I’m still getting used to it here, but I’ve really grown to like it.

Let me know in the comments if you have similar experiences or completely new ones!

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College

All throughout middle school, teachers prepare you for the next step in life- high school. Same goes for high school, you spend four years preparing for college. I thought college was going to be the time when people stop preparing you and finally let you live, but apparently the rules are very different for those of us in community college.

As  a senior in high school I thought my life was set. I had a spot in a good college, I was almost done with high school, and it was almost summer. Little did I know that my life was not going to be that simple.

As a graduation present, my parents took my family and I over seas for one of the best family vacations. On vacations, the point (at least for me) is to be detached from everything, including email. Now here’s a tip about international travel- make sure you check internet at least a few times in your trip otherwise you may miss that very important email from your future. In my case, my college had emailed and asked for the transcript from that one elective class I took over the summer before junior year. Of course, being in another country, I didn’t send it in time and that was that.

In the split second after reading that rejection letter, my entire life was changed. I went through all seven stages of grief of course, but afterwards my eyes were opened to the endless possibilities of the rest of my life.

This evil email was no longer evil because it freed me from expectations. Yes, I still wanted a good job later in life, but after months of nonstop thinking about what to do, I realized that this is a blessing in disguise. I no longer had to follow convention, and I realized how ridiculous this convention was. People are so focused on the future that they rarely stop to enjoy the present.

I know how cliche this sounds, but it’s the truth. When you have the future laid out for you by the generations who came before, there is no time for self exploration, much less world exploration.

I am at community college right now, but this path is so different than the one I expected that it really opened my eyes to the world around me.

So, this is the story of how I was freed from convention.

Stay tuned to find out what life on the wild side is like…. 🙂