HDE Graduating Seniors

Ruhani After a few years at community college, I was confident coming to UC Davis knowing what I wanted to do. But the moment I stepped on to campus, I began to question myself. Being a  transfer was not an easy experience for me. Not only did I have to familiarize myself with a new town, but I also had to keep up with upper division classes in a fast paced, quarter system school. I was overwhelmed, stressed, and lonely. My first quarter grades were terrible. I was not surprised because I had no motivation to go to class. The moment I received an email to schedule an appointment with the counselor about my grades, I felt like a failure. I felt like going to UC Davis was a mistake—and perhaps I was an acceptance mistake on their end.


The moment I walked into the Dean’s office, however, everyone greeted me with a smile. The moment I walked into my counselor’s office, she gave me words of encouragement. The moment I left the building, I decided I wanted to figure out what major suited me best and to get out of my shell.

After doing research on my interests, I started to take HDE classes. I instantly fell in love with the major classes because I got a little bit of everything: biology, sociology, psychology, anthropology, etc. Once I started realizing that I was going to class eager to continue off from the last lecture, I knew this major was for me.

As you can see, HDE is super versatile: facts and skills you learn in class are definitely applicable to a lot of careers. You become educated on subjects that will challenge your perspective. The HDE 100A/B/C series is applicable to future HDE classes, so it becomes easier to understand as you take more classes--and even when you do research! In short, if you have a good work ethic and apply what you learn outside the classroom, your grades will shine. Although I am not 100% sure what I want to do after graduating, I have a Plan A, B, and C! (Again, all thanks to the versatility of the major!)

In terms of extracurriculars related to HDE, I was hired at CCFS as a program assistant, interned with Accelerated Access at the UCDMC, interned with MSICU-BLUE at the UCDMC, and worked with the University Retirement Community as an activity intern. I found that I loved learning about adult development the most -- so much so that I applied to a research assistant position focusing on that area of HDE. I would not have pushed myself to pursue these opportunities if it weren’t for the confidence and skills I built as an HDE major.

Just remember to make friends with your counselors, make friends in your classes (some of my closest friends I met here were people I sat next to randomly), connect with your professors/TAs, and become involved within the Davis community. I have no regrets staying an extra year at UC Davis to graduate as a proud HDE alumna. Best of luck as an HDE major! Even through failure, it is never too late to get back up. You got this!!! -Ruhani Amath 

GinaHi everyone, my name is Gina and I graduate in Spring 2018 as a Human Development major and Psychology minor. I came to UC Davis as a freshman in 2014. I’m sure you’ve heard the statement, “You’re going to have to change the way you study when you go to college”. I know, yeah, right! But, actually it’s true. I came in thinking my high school had difficult classes that were surely similar to college courses. Sadly, that was not true. In a quarter system everything goes in a very fast pace and professors are not going to extend a deadline because ‘you’re busy working for another class’. Every class is important. You will learn to be a super organizer and you will manage your time more wisely.

Aside from classes, you will also need to get involved in other extracurricular activities that will not only be fun for you, but also be beneficial for you in the future. Join clubs, sororities, associations, school jobs, whatever draws you in. Personally, I was interested in research, so I applied for research assistant positions and as you can expect I eventually started working for Dr. Patricia Roberson’s Healthy Families Lab. Working as a research assistant was not only so much fun, but I gained experience in research methods. In addition, working as a research assistant looks very good when applying for graduate school, so if you plan on continuing your education try getting into research! Since I have graduated, I was promoted in the lab I work for, so I now work for UC Davis. I am currently applying for graduate school for public health to continue to doing research. I wish you a wonderful first year and welcome to UC Davis!  - Gina Cortez
ZainaI came to UC Davis from a small charter school in the Bay Area with only 80 students in my graduating class! Taking the leap from there to UC Davis was definitely a rough transition. I soon realized that the quarter system was very fast and that I had to hit the ground running as soon as the quarter started in order to keep up. When I first came to UC Davis, I was Undeclared in the College of Biological Sciences. After realizing that a BS in Biology wasn't for me, I started to explore my options and stumbled upon Human Development! As soon as I new I was interested, I visited the major advising office to learn more about the major and found that it was a much more well rounded, holistic major than anything I had seen before. There was a wonderful mix of many disciplines such as biology, psychology, sociology, and anthropology, just to name a few. I learned that finding a major that you're passionate about and that you will do well in is really important not only for academic success but for personal success! The class that really tied together my HDE experience at UC Davis was HDE140/140L in which I worked with a group of toddlers at the Center for Child and Family Studies every Tuesday and Thursday morning of my Winter 2018 quarter. This field site was accompanied by a lecture by Professor Andrew Bower on Tuesdays and discussion with Julia Luckenbill on Thursdays. Holding the responsibility to care for a group of three toddlers was a life changing experience and a wonderful way to tie together classroom knowledge with real life. Whether you want to be a nurse, therapist, doctor, teacher, or college advisor -- just to list a few of the many careers HDE students want to pursue -- Human Development is a major that provides a very well rounded, holistic approach to an undergraduate degree. Finding a degree that fits your passions and interests will definitely provide the most fulfilling undergraduate experience! -Zaina Khoury

KassandraI am currently a 4th year, and I enrolled into UC Davis as a freshman. I came in as psychology major and did not add the HDE as a double major until my 3rd year. I discovered the HDE major and looked over the courses, which were perfect for my interest in working with high school students. One of my favorite classes in the major was HDE100B, the adolescence class; I had never taken a class about teenagers! Dr. Guyer, who usually teaches this class, is an amazing professor! I liked her research so much that I visited her office hours to talk to her about it. I ended up becoming a research assistant for her lab. This is my 3rd quarter in her lab, and now I am working on my own poster presentation with a postdoctoral scholar to present on adolescent anxiety and peer relationships for the Undergraduate Research Conference.

The best part about the HDE major for me has been the practicum requirement - for my HDE141 practicum, I was a counseling intern for the Dixon Teen Center. I did it last Fall, and I was able to continue my internship beyond the practicum for HDE 192 units in the Winter. I was able to work closely with my assigned faculty sponsor for the internship, Professor Swartz, and it was nice to have a regular one-on-one interaction with a professor for a change. I love that the HDE major gave me this fieldwork experience while also allowing me to gain units for it. -Kassandra Lopez-Lugo

 AnthonyWhen I transferred to UC Davis, I had $3 in my bank account and 65¢ in my wallet. Stepping on campus on the first day with so little was such a surreal experience. Despite all my years of hard work to earn myself a place at this prestigious university, I honestly felt like I didn't belong at UC Davis because I lacked resources. At least… that's what I thought. When I hit my all-time low, after weeks of constant studying and isolation in a soul rending attempt to save money, I stumbled
upon a single sentence that brought me to joyful tears. 
"UC Davis is Unique, Just Like You."


It was at that moment when I realized that Undergraduate Admissions doesn't make mistakes. That my background of immigrant parents, English language learning, and poverty wasn't a weakness. It was an asset. It was what would fuel my passionate fire to make the most of my resources. And so I did. I went to the Internship and Career Center on campus and found myself a job where I could share my story and knowledge with other transfer students. I went to the Undergraduate Research Center to start my own project on the positive effects of peer advising on college student readiness and self-concept, and I went to the Center For Student Involvement to find clubs and organizations that made me feel like family. This, combined with the knowledge I gained from the wonderful people in the HDE major has propelled me to new heights. With my holistic understanding of the BioPsychoSocialChrono theory of development, I was able to work through my insecurities as a broke newcomer and help myself and others succeed like I owned UC Davis! That said, it's only appropriate that I close with a bike pun for the bike friendly campus: Life is like riding a bike: You only have balance if you're moving forward. So don't be afraid to ask for help if you're still learning and make sure you fix your bike up when you have to. Don't ignore your problems, even if you're broke you still have to pay attention to yourself and the world around you. So go make a friend, live your life, have some fun, and get stuff done. Trust me, it'll make your journey all the more meaningful! -Anthony Morales

CarinaMy name is Carina and I am a fourth year student from Denver, Colorado. When I first came to Davis, I was nervous because I knew no one and was unsure of how easily I would make friends. I quickly realized that connecting with other students came naturally because every other freshman was experiencing the same tough transition as I! My biggest piece of advice is to organize your academic deadlines, work hours, and social events into a clean calendar. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, however using a visual agenda will make you feel much more in control and able to take personal time for yourself. Time spent relaxing and enjoying hobbies is extremely important for your mental health because you are best able to succeed when you are taking care of you first!

Additionally, I encourage all new students to explore and take advantage of the resources on campus. UC Davis is filled with incredible experts and researchers across all fields of study, so don’t be afraid to get in touch with professors whom you admire. By reaching out to professors studying topics that I am personally passionate about, I was able to help conduct observational research and obtain course credit for it. With this all said, have a wonderful time at Davis! - Carina Webster