In a recent interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Navin Federico, a sophomore student majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Davis. Navin shared insights into his transition from an International Baccalaureate (IB) program to college life, his passion for skiing, and his unique academic experiences at UC Davis.

Transitioning from IB to College:

Navin reflected on his experience coming from a rigorous IB program, where the workload prepared him well for college-level academics. However, he highlighted the challenge of adapting to the increased freedom and responsibility in college, where self-initiative plays a crucial role in success. Despite the initial adjustment period, Navin found college to be academically manageable but recognized the need for greater self-organization.

Choosing UC Davis:

When selecting a university, Navin considered various factors, including academic programs, campus culture, and recreational opportunities. Ultimately, he chose UC Davis for its laid-back atmosphere, supportive community, and proximity to skiing facilities. His decision reflects the importance of finding a balance between academic pursuits and personal interests.

Balancing Academics and Skiing:

As a passionate skier since childhood, Navin discussed his skiing journey, from joining the Crested Butte ski team at age seven to competing in freeride events until he turned 18. Despite taking a break from competitive skiing, Navin plans to resume competing or joining a ski team in the future. He emphasized the significance of skiing in his life and appreciated UC Davis’s amenities, including a ski lodge, for enabling him to pursue his passion while studying.

Exploring Unique Electives at UC Davis:

Navin shared his excitement about the diverse range of elective courses available at UC Davis, often referred to as “Davis electives.” These include unconventional classes such as wild edible mushroom cultivation, field machinery operation (affectionately known as “tractor driving”), and even courses on mummies and zombies. Navin’s enthusiasm for these eclectic electives highlights the university’s commitment to offering diverse learning experiences beyond traditional academics.

Navin’s journey is a masterclass in finding a school that fits your academic goals, personal interests, and lifestyle. He balances rigorous biochem studies with his love for skiing, proving that college can be a time for holistic education and self-discovery. 

Ready to conquer college and explore your passions?  Take a page from Navin’s book and gear up for an amazing journey! Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from Elite Students like Navin!

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