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The Mission Chronicle

The Mission Chronicle

What it’s like at UC Merced

What its like at UC Merced

Recent Mission graduate Ingrid Ximena Lopez is a student at UC Merced. She went undeclared for the first three weeks, and then decided that she wanted to major in Public Health. Here’s what Ingrid said about what campus life is like. 

UC Merced is about 4 hours from San Francisco and is near Yosemite. The campus is relatively large with food and other things off campus about a 10-15 minute drive, depending on where you want to go. There is an app where you can see when events are happening, such as games and academic events. 

The community is “very welcoming, and it’s pretty easy to socialize with others in classes.” But, your roommates in dorms, “which are very spacious, even for a triple” will probably be some of your closest friends. There are fraternities and sororities, which you can view on the school website. The food quality changes by the day, but they do have vegetarian options and the cafeteria lets you know what allergens the food might contain. 

One thing that really shocked me was that Ingrid had a class with about 200 students in it! The good thing was that it’s mainly only lectures. She only has 3 classes this semester, but she has to read a lot. For some classes she has to read 12 pages of a book while in class, and also is assigned a reading to have completed by the next time she has a class. Essays are a common assignment in her classes. She has to read others’ essays and critique them. She states, “a reader is a reader and a writer is a writer.” 

Some things that helped Ingrid get into UC Merced were the internships she participated in. In particular, the Student Health Advisory Board (SHAB) and the Youth Outreach program helped her feel more comfortable speaking out loud. She went around to freshmen health classes and gave presentations on safe sex, precautions, and other safety tips. Her English classes helped prepare her for the amount of reading and writing she now has to do in some of her classes, and also better prepared her to not get overwhelmed. 

“UC Merced is a welcoming and friendly school. It has amazing resources that can help you during your schooling, if you choose to go there.”

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