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Yolanda N. - Class of 2020

Rate your Experience:

Negrete Yol BS16 june20 grad photo.jpeg

University of California, DAVIS

BS in Animal Science

I had a lot of fear starting college and feeling like I did not belong there but as I persevered through I learned how I can shape my voice and reach for what I wanted.

Overall, my experience in college taught me about people and not just those around me but also about people of the world. Being able to make connections between my classes opened me up to all kinds of perspectives. I was able to be inspired by people who demonstrated courage and did not hide behind fear in order to be successful.

Tell us about the highlights of this academic year, or accomplishments.

This academic year I am proud of being able to finish strong with my academics. Amidst the pandemic that caused schools to go online, I was able to take the skills I learned throughout my four years to be able to set my own goals and deadlines. I was able to still enjoy and learn from my classes. I was afraid that something would change and I wouldn't be able to graduate but I surprised myself in the dedication I put into making sure that I did.

Overall, it was procrastination not only short term in my school work but also in really thinking about and being more open to trying something different that really took me a while to overcome truly and in a way that was more impactful in my career path.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

I would say to not hold to heart what career/ major they think they want to do. Taking a variety of classes early on makes it easier if you change your mind. You can also join clubs to explore other topics or careers without the commitment of a class.


It's good to do a four-year plan to make sure you're on track but making it flexible is to your best interest because you may run into the issue of not being able to get into a class.


Overall, I would say find your major's advisor or individual college advisor but someone you find helpful to often be in contact with to go over your plans and concerns.

How did being a Bella Scholar contribute to the success of achieving your goals?

The biggest help was financial and I really would not have been able to attend a great school like UC Davis and leave with a considerably small amount in loans. Without this help and had I accepted more loans, I would be more hesitant to want to move on to grad school for the career I have now chosen. If anything it would have taken a lot longer to get there.


I also remember the check-ins from the foundation and I felt overall proud to have received this scholarship. I also felt very supported throughout my entire time in college.

Now that you have graduated, have you formulated any new short term / long term goals?

My longterm goals include getting into a teaching credential/masters program at a UC school and completing the program to become an accredited teacher.


My short term goals include finding a day job to save up for grad school, finish my observational hours in the classroom, and apply to teaching credential programs.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I actually have a passion for helping people. I used to let my shy and cold demeanor define my ability to work with people well but I learned to reflect even more about my life experiences and found a lot of compassion. I got to that point in college where you really start to think about life after college and what it is you want to spend the rest of your life doing and reflect on the type of person you want to be.


I discovered that I was letting other people's opinions dictate my path even when I thought they weren't and I was finally able to really consider what I wanted to do.

What was the greatest challenge you faced? How did you overcome it?

I came into college thinking there was a clear path the career I thought I wanted to acquire. However, when that mixed into procrastination and being overwhelmed with the change in environment, I found my years in college passing me by and only becoming more confused about what I really wanted to do. As a very carefree person, I needed to learn to take more initiative in searching for answers to what I wanted my future to look like. So I found myself in my senior year no longer wanting to pursue the career I kept saying I was working towards and too late to make drastic changes if I wanted to graduate on time. Staying another year would not have been ideal because of the costs. However, I did have space for extra classes and decided to try something new and I was able to discover a new passion that I can continue to work towards.


Overall, it was procrastination not only short term in my school work but also in really thinking about and being more open to trying something different that really took me a while to overcome truly and in a way that was more impactful in my career path.

If you could go back in time 4 years ago, what would you tell your 18 year old self? If you could do-over, what would you do differently?

I would put myself out there a lot sooner than I did. If you are someone that is shy and in an environment where you do not know many people, I would say to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Starting out slowly with just one club or talking to the person sitting next to you in a large lecture every now and then will take you far in the long run. You don't want to end up halfway through and feel like you haven't experienced much in college. Although academics are important, I found that my grades were not any more affected by having a social life and if anything they were better.

What were your proudest accomplishments or highlights from attending college?

One of the things I was really proud of was gaining a leadership position in a student-run clinic I was a part of where I got to interact with a diverse group of clients and help them receive our services.

I was also very proud at the end of being able to keep my GPA steady through all the ups and downs I had throughout.

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