After five years and hundreds of hours of work (and fun!), it’s over. Done. Finito. נעשה.
Yesterday, I graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Sustainable Environmental Design and minors in Jewish Studies and Professional Writing. And while I have gained a degree, the diploma itself pales in comparison to everything else I’ve experienced: the challenges that have changed me, the people who have supported me, the big ideas and little moments that have made me more “me.”
Here I am, on the other side, feeling privileged, relieved, excited, confused, and damn NOSTALGIC! Below, in brevity, are the best moments: the things and people that make my heart sing.
YEAR 1: Moved into the Tercero “cow” dorms. Met Emma and Clara who lived next door and let me sleep on their floor after my roommate drama. Met Kia serendipitously in an elevator. Immediately decided to be besties. Studied bio, slept 12 hrs a night (not a normal freshman), and ate A LOT of chocolate chip cookies and rice. Experienced the famous “butt cut” (sliced my butt open while skiing) and eff-d up my hip joint. Dropped out of school for the rest of the year and raised two ducks (April and May)!
YEAR 2: Lived on Brown Drive in a janky house with five girls and two boys (Maggie + the flippin’ BEST squad). Took random classes that were awesome (like the one where we milked cows for our lab final). Briefly did triathlon team. Worked for the Graduate School of Education. Hiked a lot. Yoga-ed a lot. Applied to go abroad. Took a leap and switched my major to Sustainable Environmental Design the final week of spring quarter.
YEAR 3: Spent 11.5 months studying and living in the middle of the Israeli desert. Met more best friends (Mimi, Maya, Hannah, Felice!). Suffered thru learning Hebrew. Ate an obscene amount of tahini. Got yelled at (and loved) by a lot by Israelis. Yelled at some Israelis myself. Studied transboundary water conflicts and Jewish stuff. Added a Jewish Studies minor. Traveled to 10 other countries (ridiculously privileged). Survived four months abroad without a phone (sorry, Mom). Came home wittier, blunter, more loving, more humble, and more Jew-ish than ever.
YEAR 4: Lived downtown with Danna in the best apartment ever. Worked as a peer advisor at UC Davis Study Abroad with fantastic humans. Wrote a lot. Added a Professional Writing minor. Fell in love with copy editing. Took a boatload of sustainable design classes. Formed a fantastic community in Hunt Hall during the exhaustive hours of design projects. Missed Israel every. single. day. (So I went back for a hot sec).
YEAR 5: Lived downtown with Kia (finally!) in the same apartment. Worked for the UC Davis Policy Institute (read a lot, wrote a lot). Mentored students in my major. Completed a Wilderness First Responder course and a 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training. Did design projects up-the-wazooooo: Portland beaver habitat restoration, UC Davis Student Farm Production & Learning Facility, tiny homes community, etc. Met the greatest friends and designers who put up with me thru all the work (shout out to my three-quarter-long best-project-partner-ever, Abraham). Was supported by incredible staff, faculty, and family. Graduated!
FUTURE: Working for the UC Davis Policy Institute thru the summer. Praying I survive the heat with help from an office with A/C and friends with pools (SOS). Moving out in September and headed to Israel to hike the Israeli National Trail for two months (stay tuned for blog posts, or just come hike with me!). Will be back in November…and then???!
Looking back on college with the biggest smile. Looking forward to the future with the same. I love you all. Onwards and upwards!