Admittedly something that was always on my mind during grad school was how 'bad' Sacramento State was compared to the other great institutions people attended, especially compared to Miami. I would often walk around at Miami wondering what my life would've been like an as undergrad there. Truth is there would have been no possible way I could've gotten into Miami as an undergrad. I simply did not have the grades to get into the institution. Given the many choices I did have, I chose Sac State because it was close to home, cheap, my sister went there and overall it seemed like a good place to live/go to school. To be honest, I enjoyed my time there.
The other day I had some extra time to spend in Sacramento and went back to Sac State to see what was new and to walk around campus. Of course I had my camera, so naturally I wanted to grab some photos of my undergrad. I bought a temporary parking permit (because all Sac State Student know UTAPS will get you for parking two seconds when you're not supposed to, haha!) and started my walk around campus. The first thing I noticed were these flags hanging everywhere around campus.
"Redefine the Possible. Do the Unexpected" It had changed from when I was there. It used to be "Leadership Begins Here" that was on the flags, at least I am pretty sure that's what they said. Anyways, I really liked what the new flags said. It immediately reminded me of my priceless experience working in Housing and Residence Life at Sac State. It made me smile as I kept walking through campus, toward some of the old buildings I used to frequent. So, I kept walking and felt super nostalgic walking the same path I used to walk to class for six years, yes, six years it took me to get my degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Geology. I then came across the best building on campus, yes, that's right folks Placer Hall AKA the Geology Building.
Placer Hall is the best building on campus, not because it houses the Geology Department, but also the United State Geological Survey. Since the American River is adjacent to campus, USGS monitors and studies the hydrology of the river. ALSO, there's the rock garden (pictured above), which is basically going to happen in my future home. Everyone needs a rock garden. Stat. Seeing the building made me laugh, since I spent so much time in there. I realized there would be no way I would've been allowed to teach geology at Miami if it weren't for the amazing faculty in the geology department at Sac State pushing me to learn and think critically. I kept walking, after trying to remember all the rocks in the rock garden and eventually stumbled upon Sac State's version of the Sundial.
The Guy West Bridge is always a sight to see. I even caught it at my classic sunset hour and managed to snap some good photos. I spent a lot of time looking out at the water thinking about my time at Sac State. Then I thought about my time at Miami. Miami has taught me lessons Sac State could've never taught me, but you know, the same is true the other way around.
I got to give Sac State a lot of credit. I really didn't know how much I learned until I went back and visited the campus. I remembered how diverse the student population was and how working with difference was just something I learned by attending, not something that needed to be taught in class. Yes, Sac State wasn't perfect but what school is? Sure, it's not Stanford, Princeton or Harvard, but Sac State was the best choice for me and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. I think that's what I am going to pass on to people. Make a choice that you know you're going to be happy with, no matter what the situation. For college, don't worry about the prestige, it's what you make of it that really counts. Would I say Sac State is prestigious? Hell yeah, because Geology + Pre-med is no joke no matter what institution you attend. Again, it's what you make of it.
Miami was also the best choice for me, because it pushed me to learn more about who I am as a person, and to this day, really challenges me to be a better person. However, I wouldn't have been successful at Miami if it weren't for my undergrad. So yeah, "Redefine the Possible, Do the Unexpected" But also, "Prodesse Quam Conspici" (to accomplish without being conspicuous). Quite honestly, I think those motto's really fit my character, ha! I'm always doing something unexpected, and flying wayyyyyy under the radar doing it!
Anyways, I wouldn't trade my experiences at both places for anything. I've met some incredible people along the way, at both places. I keep in touch with so many from Sac State and so many from Miami. So, it's not worth comparing the two places. Instead, I am choosing to value the lessons I learned from both places as I move on and up in my career path.
However! Sac State still has far more savage squirrels. Sorry, Miami! :P
And of course, here is the full set of photos from my visit at Sac State. Be sure to check them out!
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More photos of my hometown to come!