My friend “Todd” agreed to do an interview with me today to explore his motivation to attend college, his journey through college, and his expectations for life after he earns his Bachelors degree. Todd is a college junior at UC Davis pursuing an Animal Science degree.
*Note: This student did not want to reveal his identity and he’s camera shy, so we will call him “Todd”.
Hometown: Manteca, California
Favorite Color: Violet
Dream Job: Veterinarian
Favorite Animal: Dragon
1. What were your top college picks & why?
UC Davis because that’s the number one vet school, Cornell because that was number two for vet school, Humbolt because they had a zoology program there, but I also wanted a state school as backup, and then Cal Poly I also knew had an ag department. Then, also, I applied to Monterey, because I knew they had a Marine Biology Program and they also had animal science and EOP becauseI wanted to apply at least to one private school and it was more or less close by.
I got accepted to Humbolt & Davis…but Cornell kept sending me emails, they were like telling me to try to transfer. EOP I got waitlisted. Davis was my number one. Cornell it was like I want to get in, but at the same time I don’t know if I would have because its really pricey and then moving over there.
2. Why did you choose UC Davis?
Davis is one of the best vet schools nationally and probably internationally too, and plus its closer to home which I always liked.
3. When you applied to UC Davis, did you think you’d get in?
I thought I could, there was a chance but I also knew there was a chance that I wouldn’t, so I was more nervous. I wasn’t for sure about it, but I had a feeling that I might. One of my teachers said that if you’re in the top 10 % at your school you’re guaranteed acceptance to one UC, its not guaranteed which one, but you are guaranteed to one. And that’s the reason I only applied to one UC, just in case.
4. What did you do in high school to prepare for college?
I took 13 AP classes, I took the PSAT like three times, the SAT twice, the ACT once, I joined the Kewanis club, so I could get community service, so that I could beef up my application.
5. What drew you to your current career goal or field instead of others?
I always liked animals and always wanted to be around them. It wasn’t ’til I had a bird [canary] that ended up getting a disease, and the fact that I couldn’t help the bird, and I think that drew me more toward veterinarian, instead of being a zookeeper or animal behaviorist. Like, helping animals in pain.
6. How important is happiness in your future career?
I feel like it’s one of the most important factors, because you need to be able to continue what you’re doing or else your life quality will go downhill and you don’t want to be waking up every single day, that’s how people get depressed. Depression leads to suicide.
7. What do you expect to get out of college?
What I expect to get is pretty much the proof that I was able to go and do a strenuous task and stick with it so that employers can see that, and so I have a better chance to get a job. So pretty much to get a job…well, a well paying job.
8. Before you started college, what was your vision of life after attaining a college degree and how has that vision changed?
The only vision that has changed is probably not going to vet school, but I feel like most of my other beliefs have stayed the same..about life in general, like how I viewed life stayed the same. It’s just like some of my goals have been altered, which would be vet school. I feel like that is really the only change that I see in myself. How I perceive the world, I feel that is still the same. Like, how I view people when I see someone walking down the street. How I interact with someone, I don’t know. Its hard to explain, but there hasn’t really been a change in that. I guess my mentality has stayed the same.
9. What is your mentality?
You reap what you sow.
10. What is the greatest challenge that you’ve faced in your efforts to gain an education?
While I was trying to get into college, it was definitely a lot of the application process and figuring out how to make myself stand out. In college, it was probably the chemistry courses – so far in college that has been the biggest challenge for me.
11. If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Go to more office hours in college my freshman year and go to tutoring more.
12. Has your pursuit of a higher education been worth it?
I feel like right now it’s too early to tell because I haven’t received [a degree]. So I can’t really see how my life has changed with it. I expected myself to go to college so it’s hard to say. I guess I was expecting to go to college and was expecting to have this lifestyle more or less, so I don’t know I can envision my life without going to college.
13. Do you think you would have been better off just getting a job or skipping college altogether?
I don’t think so, to employers I feel that there is a bias, and you seem less appealing unless you have personal connections. So I feel like they would view you more negatively compared to someone with a degree. So I feel like with a degree, you have a higher chance of getting a job.
14. Are you optimistic about finding a job after college?
I feel like no, but I feel like my chances would be higher than if I didn’t, so I know that having a degree is going to help, but I’m sure I will find a job, its just that I don’t know how long it will be after getting my degree.
15. Which is better- experience or education?
I feel like experience is better short-term and education is better long-term, because I feel like with experience you already know how to do things, so you can perform more adequately at the time; but if you go with education, you’ll have less experience, but you have knowledge of different things that you can later apply once you start getting those experiences and be able to progress yourself even further than someone who just has experience and are more limited in mindset. So I feel like long-term education is better.
As always, I hope you all enjoyed this interview and gained something from it. Stay tuned for my next interview!
I’ll keep you posted.