UC Merced is highlighting incoming students for fall 2023 — a dynamic, diverse and accomplished cohort of new Bobcats.
Delia Rodriguez poured her heart into college prep — applying to almost 20 universities. When it came time to make her choice, opportunities in health science pointed her to a UC close to home.
"I think what led me to UC Merced was the Health Scholars Program that I got into," said Rodriguez.
An aspiring neurosurgeon, she was excited to learn the program connects students with employment in the health field and provides guidance with applications for medical school. Plus, she will be residing in a Living Learning Community with like-minded students who share her academic and professional goals. Rodriguez feels the opportunities at a more intimate campus made UC Merced the obvious choice for her.
"Adapting to the environment is much easier. And since I want to go into the medical field, I feel like the smaller classes help, so that I have that intimate relationship with professors and I can easily build relationships," she said.
Rodriguez is a Los Angeles native. When she was 11 years old, her family moved to the Central Valley, where she says they have felt truly at home. Being close to them is a big part of the appeal of Merced. And three of her closest friends will also start at UC Merced this fall.
"We have all thought about joining clubs outside of our comfort zone, just to try out new things," said Rodriguez.
At the top of her list to try: student government and cultural clubs.
"I haven't really been in touch with my cultural roots, but I want to get closer to that," she said.
Of course, she's also looking forward to having the quintessential college experience. At UC Merced, that includes a unique springtime tradition.
"The event I am most looking forward to is Cowchella," said Rodriguez. "I have heard about it and it seems really exciting because I have never gone to concerts."