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LEO YOUSSEF

AVANTI BARONIA

Third Year Major: Native American Studies Hometown: San Jose, California

Fourth Year Major: International Relations Hometown: San Ramon, California

What advice would you give to other UC Davis students?

How do you balance academics and community involvement?

Moving through the institution of UC Davis is incredibly challenging and complex, so it is very important to find community. Whether it is a close group of friends or classmates, an academic department, a club or organization and/or a community resource and retention center, there are many spaces across campus that support students in a variety of ways. I encourage folks to be brave and try out various spaces with an open mind and heart and to express your passions within your exploration. Finding space and/or a sense of family sometimes comes in the most unexpected of ways. All that is needed is a willingness to listen, be challenged and grow.

It took a while to figure out how to balance extracurriculars and academics, but once I found the activities I was most passionate about and classes that helped me understand my community, the two things became complementary. I don’t feel as if I have to find a way to divide my time between the two; the things I learn (or don’t learn) in class can be applied to the work I do, from which I gain practical knowledge that, in turn, solidifies my understanding of the classwork.

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