As we all wrapped up another school year at UC Davis (cries internally because college is almost over), we found ourselves reflecting on the big moments of our junior year and a large majority of them can be summed up by one word: Spoon.

When Ashley came back from studying abroad last summer, she found herself with an excessive amount of food pictures and stories that needed to be shared. Alyssa enjoys going out on food adventures and also had masses of food stories and pictures that begged to be shared somewhere. Hana has her own food Instagram and has a passion for journalism, which is basically what Spoon is all about.

We all found out about Spoon in different ways. UC Berkeley’s team caught Ashley’s attention, while Alyssa saw the Facebook event about starting a Davis chapter, and Hana noticed it on a classroom chalkboard the first week of school. Ashley and Alyssa, the OG leadership team, got together to create our very own UC Davis chapter, then reeled Hana (along with Nadia and Tabitha) in later that year. That’s basically how it all started, and it’s been quite a ride.

Here are 10 things we’ve learned my first year spooning with Spoon:

1. Drake Lyrics Speak the Truth

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A wise man once said, “started from the bottom now we’re here,” and we all agree that accurately describes the journey of UC Davis’s Spoon chapter. We had big dreams but were missing one little thing: moolah. It was initially frustrating planning fundraisers that would only generate an average of $20. Flash forward couple months and we rose to baller status thanks to our very successful donut fundraiser with Baker’s Donuts. Moral of the story: with perseverance and hard work, dreams do come true.

2. Being Passionate is Everything

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I know, we’ve all heard it before, “be passionate about what you do.” As an undergraduate we might be more willing to say that we’ll take a decent paying job almost anywhere after we graduate. But after a year of being on the leadership team, we not only confirmed our obsession for food, but we also discovered new passions for writing, managing, and marketing. Now know we all agree that any ordinary job won’t do for us, but something we truly enjoy. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll often do it better because you’ll want to put the work into it.

3. You Can Plan All You Want, But Sh*t Happens and That’s Okay

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We planned to have a giant fundraiser to give our chapter a boost in the cash money department. It was a month-long donut fundraiser in partnership with Baker’s Donuts in Sacramento (hollah at Hana for having the hook-up), and we planned it out pretty much from start to finish.

Major props to Alyssa for creating all the Excel sheets and doing most of the managing. There were also endless month-long Facebook messenger notifications, and several Google docs to help coordinate shifts and expenses. However even with the meticulous planning, our first week we still had major hiccups. Thankfully, with helpful dedication and coordination with our members, the fundraiser soon started running like a well-oiled machine.

4. Quality Over Quantity

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Ashley remembers that when our chapter first started, there was a hype on campus and we had over 60 members join. After about a month, we went from 60 members to 20 members and that made the leadership team stressed. HQ constantly reassured us that a small team of dedicated members was way more valuable than a large team of semi-committed members and now, we can confidently say their words of wisdom rings absolutely true and love the team we’ve grown to be.

5. Be Open-Minded

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Ashley considers herself a pretty stubborn person as shown by my firm belief that mermaids exist (Hana definitely believes this too). There were many times where Ashley thought things had to be done a certain way, but then a member or someone on the leadership team would suggest something else that turned out to be better and more effective. Working with a variety of different people through Spoon has taught all of us that sometimes someone else might have a better idea, and that’s alright.

6. Surround Yourself With People Who Love What You Love

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Nothing brings people together like food, except maybe more so when everyone’s obsessed with food. Spoon helped all of us as a whole chapter, find like-minded millennials that get excited about a new season of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and are willing to dedicate at least 10 minutes to taking pictures of food before actually eating.

The great thing about Spoon is that there’s such a large variety of niches for different types of people ranging from writing and photography to marketing and event-planning, but we all share the common bond of our sick obsession with food.

7. Finding a Balance Between Work and Play

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As a brand new chapter, Alyssa and Ashley had it pretty hard because they had so much chaos going on behind the scenes, yet they had to look cool and composed in front of our chapter. Through a lot of trial and tribulations, as mentioned above, we’re getting the hang of how to run a chapter. The biggest thing we’ve learned to have fun and get people excited, yet make sure we all get work done too. Implementing rules, but also celebrating everyone’s accomplishments, and throwing member parties are just a few of many that played a huge part in restructuring how we manage our team.

We can confidently say that joining Spoon University has pretty much made our college life and showed us what we’re truly passionate about. We seriously encourage all lost and lonely foodies to come spoon with us. #noragrets

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