BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Biracial: Caucasian and Hispanic
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: I went to a private school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 100 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: American Studies, it’s a self-designed major
Extracurricular Activities: I participate in an enrichment program with a middle school down the street. I am a part of the newspaper, The Catalyst.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
They both had a big impact on my experience in terms of finding new friends and being part of my day to day routine. Participating in both of those clubs has shaped a lot of my friend groups.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
We have class for three hours a day every day from 9AM-12PM. I have at least 100 pages of reading a night.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I think all the humanities departments at CC are pretty strong and helpful. It’s a small college, so you get lots of attention.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
Environmental Ethics. It was about social justice issues and how they relate to the environment. We did a lot of field trips around Colorado and learned about issues like Native American reservations and how lots of nuclear waste is located around them, and how environmental hazards affect people of color and people who are disenfranchised more than White people.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s pretty competitive and collaborative. You usually have lots of group projects. The class sizes are pretty small, so if you don’t participate the professor will notice. You have to be pretty vocal in a lot of classes.
Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
That is an issue at CC. People are very, very liberal and even moderate views are not very well accepted all the time. So, I would say not particularly.
How accessible are your professors?
Very accessible. There are office hours that I can always go to and talk to them. You can even get a meal with them. I feel very comfortable talking to all of my professors.
How has the Block Plan affected your workload?
Everybody has class from 9AM-12PM, so everyone is on the same schedule and you sort of know what each day looks like. There’s a big sense of routine on campus. It depends from block to block, but if you’re in a hard block and you get a lot of work, it’s sort of like you’re not going to see anyone that month. I wouldn’t recommend taking two hard blocks in a row because you burn out. You have to balance doing a hard block and doing an easier block where you can have a break. Some blocks have a ton of work and some blocks are incredibly lax.
Have you liked or disliked the Block Plan?
I really like it because in high school I had an issue with procrastinating and on the Block Plan you can’t procrastinate because you’ll fail. You have more work every day and you’re expected to keep up with your work all the time. I think it’s really helpful with people who have an issue with procrastinating but feel like they can get on top of it. If you’re really bad with it, then you shouldn’t go to CC because work piles up very quickly.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Mathias Hall with two roommates in a triple
Sophomore: Bemis with one roommate.
Junior: I’m living in an apartment on campus and I have four roommates, but I have my own room.
What was your favorite living situation?
My current living situation is probably my favorite because I’m living with friends and I am on campus so I’m close to everything.
How was transitioning from Baltimore to Colorado Springs?
I mean it’s definitely different. I think it’s hard to not be in a city for someone who lived in the city. Colorado Springs is a lot smaller than Baltimore, but I like hiking and going outside so it wasn’t that hard of a transition for me. I thought it was pretty smooth.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
The campus is very safe, I’ve never experienced any issues.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
The Skirted Heifer
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Garden of the Gods. I like to take advantage of the outdoor stuff.
What other outdoors stuff do you like to do?
CC has programs for block breaks, so people can go sort of anywhere in the southwest region and hike with other students, there are also skiing programs.
Pros and Cons of being in Colorado Springs, CO?
Pros: (1) You can walk downtown.
(2) It’s sort of a chill place to live.
(3) It’s right near a lot of beautiful things.
Cons: (1) Colorado Springs is sort of spread out.
(2) It’s sort of dull sometimes. It’s not really a city.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I usually go out on the weekends or like once during the week, but not every night. Typically, people go out on Wednesdays and on the weekend. Otherwise, there’s usually not that much going on every night unless it’s the first block or the last block just because the weather is better and people tend to take easier courses then.
What have been some of your favorite times at CC?
I really like Block 8 because everyone tends to take easier classes and then you can go out quite a lot and it’s really beautiful. There’s an on-campus music festival at the end of school, and everything is sort of wrapping up, so that’s probably my favorite time.
How happy are you with the weekend options? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m happy with it. Sometimes parties are just sort of people dancing, and I wish people would talk to each other more. It’s definitely tamer than I thought it would be.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I went abroad for my first semester through the Fall Semester Away program, so I met my closest friends from that program. I also met a lot of people during orientation and that stayed as my friend group.
How would you describe the social scene?
Overall, I would say it’s pretty lowkey. There are house parties, but that’s for dancing. People will hang out in dorms or have smaller parties in apartments or something. I wouldn’t say it’s particularly wild, it’s more lowkey.
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think they do mix socially at CC, but CC is very White. It feels very White on campus, but I do think people mix quite a bit. [About 65% of the student body is White.]
How would you describe the student body?
I would say they’re sort of outdoorsy and a lot of people are pretty smart and serious. There is a big drug culture, but I think most people are pretty calm and like to go hiking or do things outside.
How has Colorado’s legal recreational marijuana law affected your experience?
I definitely smoke more now, but I don’t smoke every day. It’s a lot cheaper here and it’s really easy to get. Almost all of my friends smoke [marijuana], but it’s not something that has negatively impacted my studies. It’s just there.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Colorado College by the time they graduate?
I think some people do. It’s sort of a hit or miss place. A lot of people will come and transfer just because it’s such a niche culture. I do think if you’re really into that culture than you love it.
Have you used the career office? If so, how helpful have they been?
I have used the career office once to get credit for an internship that I did. They were pretty helpful.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Colorado College before entering as a freshman?
I wish I had known how important extracurriculars were in finding your friend group.
What is something that a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Go to a concert in town. A lot of artists will come to Colorado Springs because it’s close to Denver, so there’s a pretty lively music scene.
Reasons to attend Colorado College:
1) People are really friendly and the culture is very not judgmental
2) You’re around beautiful things. If you like skiing or hiking it’s a pretty ideal place to go to school.
3) The classes are really engaging.
Reasons to not attend Colorado College:
1) Sometimes the outdoorsy culture can be too much if you’re not into it. It just can feel isolating or exclusive I think.
2) The Block Plan is not for everyone. You have to be able to do work every day and operate in that system.
3) It’s not a huge party school.