Hello, New Aggie Student-Athletes.

Kevin Blue, Ph.D.
4 min readSep 22, 2018

Welcome to UC Davis! We’re very excited that you’re here!

Some of you have already been on campus for a while with your teams, but your time at UC Davis will start in earnest with the commencement of Fall Quarter in the coming days. The beginning of your UC Davis career is full of opportunity and possibilities. We’re excited for you to write the first chapter in your story as an Aggie, and wanted to pass along a few thoughts to consider as you settle in.

Thank the people who helped you make it here.

Becoming a student-athlete at UC Davis is an accomplishment that you should be very proud of. You’re now a student at the fifth-ranked public university in the United States and an important part of a Division I athletics program that is rapidly rising.

Lots of people helped you make it here. Your parents, coaches, friends, and mentors supported you and they are undoubtedly very proud to see you start school at UC Davis. Please take a moment to think about these people and thank them for the support they provided along the way. Write thank-you notes to your youth and high-school coaches. Tell your parents that you appreciate the sacrifices they’ve made. They will appreciate it very much.

An added bonus: UC Davis researchers have shown that expressing your gratitude to others will make you happier!

Figure out your personal process for success at UC Davis.

Your accomplishments in high school were fueled by your strong desire to succeed. Bring this determination with you to UC Davis, but try to be both determined and patient as you start in your new environment. Channel your initial determination into figuring out your personal process for being successful here.

For example, how much sleep do you need to be most effective? What is the best time of day for you to get your work done? How will you maintain a positive and healthy social life? What are the preparation habits of the best players on your team and how should you emulate them? What do you need to do to most effectively rest and recover from training?

Your sport will be more competitive in college and your classes will be more challenging, but you will adjust. Be patient at the beginning, and focus your initial ambition on learning what it takes for you to be successful in your new environment. Find your personal recipe for success at UC Davis and the results you are seeking will follow.

Ask for help often.

Seeking help and advice is a sign of strength, not weakness. In fact, a characteristic of successful people is how good they are at seeking out advice and mentorship. Since many things will be new to you, it will take a lot more time and energy to figure things out in your first year, and it is completely normal to be unclear about certain things. Everyone else is, too. Please ask for help when you need it.

If you are feeling stressed out or anxious and want to talk to someone about it, that’s normal as well. We have very welcoming people at UC Davis that are here to help you. You can talk with your coach, with anyone in our administration, or you can reach out to me directly. Please also see this list of campus counseling resources that are available to you.

Look for opportunities to grow and evolve.

You are both a highly accomplished student and a highly accomplished athlete. However, upon graduation in a few years, or perhaps after spending some time in professional sports, you will no longer be either a student or an athlete. Keep this fact in the back of your mind as you experience UC Davis. You’ve strongly identified as a student and an athlete for most of your life to this point, but the majority of your long and interesting life will be spent doing other things.

Absolutely dive headlong into sports and school with full commitment, and enjoy every moment of being a student-athlete. At the same time, be open and reflective about other passions that you might develop. You will soon be introduced to the Aggie EVO System, which is our program to help you prepare for your future. As you get comfortable at UC Davis, branch out. Meet new people from a variety of backgrounds. Learn about new things, develop more dreams, and explore the amazing range of careers that you can pursue with your UC Davis education.

Good luck and have fun. I look forward to supporting you along the way.

Go Ags!

Kevin Blue

Kevin Blue has been the Director of Athletics at UC Davis since 2016.