Kamira Patel, 14, (left) dresses up for Halloween before going out with her suitemates.

FRESHMAN FOCUS: Kamira Patel flips sheep and milks goats at UC Davis

Kamira Patel, ‘14, is a freshman at UC Davis. She is majoring in animal science, but she likes to say she is majoring in pre-vet medicine, because that’s what she is focusing on.

Q: What classes are you enjoying?

A: I really do like my animal science class because my professor is really cool and upbeat. He’s really enthusiastic, and he’s always making funny comments and jokes. We are always laughing in that class.

He makes the dry material really fun. I don’t think anyone thinks it’s dry material in that class.

Q: Are there any classes you’re not enjoying?

A: I took Ancient Mediterranean Art, and I was going into the class thinking it would be learning about the art and architecture. I also thought it would be about the history of what was going on at the time, like what the Greeks were doing.

We just go through one piece of art and say, “Here’s the significance.” Then we move onto the next painting. But I want to know what the Greeks were doing during that time. It makes it harder to memorize all the pieces, because we have no real attachment to the image.

It does fulfill a fair amount of my general education (GE) requirements, which is good.

I’m excited for the class to be over. It’s good that we have a quarter system. It means that we will be done really soon.

Q: How are the labs?

A: The first lab that I did, I flipped a sheep. We went in pretty strong.

The second lab we did horses. I love horses, so that was probably my favorite. But we didn’t do anything exciting. We were just like, “Here’s a horse, and here’s how you comb it.”

I milked a goat and a cow. I found out that I love goats. Oh, my gosh! They’re so cute! I don’t like cows.

My fourth lab was pigs, and I hate them. They are the worst. They smell awful. I don’t want to be around them.

Q: What’s your favorite part about Davis?

A: I got one of the best dorms you could possibly get. It’s not too far away from my classes.

I’m in Quarto, the suite-style dorm section. Quarto has three buildings, and I’m in the newest building. And I’m on the top floor, which is the best. And I’m in the end room of my suite, and that’s the biggest because we have a sink and a closet in our room.

I only have to share a bathroom with three other people.

I also like the community here. If you go into downtown Davis, it’s really sweet and cute. And when you go onto campus, everyone is really friendly.

Q: What traditions does Davis have?

A: In the spring we have Picnic Day. It’s the biggest student-run festival event.

One of the big things is we have these statues that are called egg heads. They are all around campus. There is one by the library. It’s an egg head with its head in a book. If you rub it before an exam, then you have good luck.

I haven’t done it yet, so I don’t know if it works. It’s super worn off where everyone has touched it.

You have to go visit the cows. I’ve gone for my lab, but I haven’t gone just because I want to visit cows. I guess that’s a thing in Davis – visit the cows since they’re right on campus.

Q: What was your first impression?

A: Move-in day for me was rainy and cloudy. I was like, “Where is the sun?”

And then I’m walking around putting my stuff up, and honestly my first impression was there’s a ton of Asians here.

The majority of the people I saw the first day were Asian, and I was like, “What did I do? I’m not in China.”

Q: Did anything disappoint you?

A: The bikers here suck. Biking in Davis is the most terrifying experience in your entire life.

You don’t want to have class from 10-12, because that’s when crazy people are biking in the morning. There are a lot of traffic jams, people cussing at each other and accidents.

Pedestrians don’t know where they’re going. They just walk in front of you. It’s so frustrating! Drivers don’t know what they’re doing either.

I came in thinking I was a novice biker. No! I’m a great biker compared to everyone else here.

No one wears a helmet. The first day I was wearing my cute helmet, and all my friends were like, “What are you doing?” If you wear a helmet, you’re labeled as a bad biker.

It’s dangerous, but I don’t want to be labeled as a bad biker.

Q: Most embarrassing freshman mistake?

A: The first rain.

First of all, I don’t have a fender on my bike yet, so I got the freshman stripe. All the mud and water just comes up onto your bike and you get this stripe down your back. I got it on my backpack.

So it’s Halloween. I have my animal science lab to go to. I get out of class, and it is just pouring outside to the point where it’s flooding, and you’re like. “I don’t even want to move.”

I go to my bike and I forgot to grab a plastic bag to cover my bike seat. My bike seat is soaked to the bone.

I was like, “Shoot, I’m going to be late for my lab, so I’m just going to go.” My butt is soaked through my jeans.

I get to my lab and all the freshman are soaked, and everyone has a wet stain on their jeans from where their butt was sitting on the wet seat.

All the students who were not freshmen already figured out that they just need a plastic bag to cover their seat, and they’re all fine.

Q: Advice for the class of 2015?

A: Before you go to college, check to see if your college has an app on the phone. That helped me a lot. UC Davis has an app, and it tells you where your classes are with a GPS and everything. It tells you the bus schedule, what’s at the dining commons that day.

Also, you shouldn’t stress about it. The application process happens. Then you’re waiting to find out what colleges you are going to get into. Don’t stress if you don’t get into the college you want to go to.

I really, really wanted to go to Cornell. But then during the application process I realized I wasn’t really loving it.

And when I didn’t get in, I was like, “Thank the lord!”

The reason you don’t get into the college is not because you aren’t good enough but because it wasn’t a good fit.

Don’t be too analytical when choosing colleges. Trust yourself and the application process, and you’ll be fine.

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