University of Colorado at Boulder
BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: December 2018
High School Experience: I went to two different schools. One small school with a graduating that would have been just over 100 in Chicago, and I transferred to a large public school in which my graduating class was over 500 in Northern Wisconsin.
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: I was in a sorority but am not anymore.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It’s a lot of reading, and recently it was a lot of writing research papers. We also have labs. I had big research projects, so conducting an experiment and presenting it to my class with my group.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
No, I think it’s like any department, there are good professors and there are bad professors. The good ones are outstanding and they will meet with you any time and talk with you any time.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s both. Psych is a big major to be in. It’s very competitive and there’s a lot of people in it and fighting for the same lab positions, grades, and time to talk to your professors. [In 2016, Psychology was the second most popular major at CU Boulder.]
What is your favorite class you’ve taken for your major?
Abnormal Psychology, and my Evidence-Based Clinical Practice
What is your least favorite class you’ve taken for your major?
Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice of major?
I’ve always wanted to help people, and I want to help people with mental illness. I’m very happy with it and I’ve never thought about anything else.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Farrand Hall in a triple
Sophomore: University Village with three other roommates
Junior & Senior: House on the hill with three other roommates
What was your favorite living situation?
I loved living in the dorms. All of my friends were on the same hall as me, so everyone was around all the time. I also love my house, I love where it is.
Can you describe the level of safety you experienced on and around campus?
My freshman year I felt very safe. Then a couple of things have happened the past couple of years that made me feel less safe because I live off campus. I just wouldn’t walk anywhere alone, but I wouldn’t do that anywhere. It doesn’t change anything, I’m just more cautious.
How was transitioning from Wisconsin to Boulder?
It wasn’t too bad. I mean it’s a big school with a lot of people. You just have to find your niche and it’s fine. It’s not intimidating or anything like that. You just have to find what you want to do and do it.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I go hiking in Chautauqua, the hiking trails right near campus.
Pros and Cons of being in Boulder, CO?
Pros: (1) Boulder as a city is located relatively close to everywhere. You’re only 40 minutes from Denver, and only 35 minutes away from highways that take you skiing.
(2) It’s beautiful.
Cons: My only con is that it’s expensive.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
We have a great nightlife. There’s always a party going on and places to go, but if you don’t want to do that, you don’t have to. Freshman year I went to a lot of fraternity parties, and then it dwindled to house parties and apartment parties. I tend to go out on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights to whatever is going on that night. It’s mostly house parties now.
What have been your favorite times at CU Boulder?
I don’t think I have an event that I like more than another. It’s just like the whole environment’s great. I just love it all the time.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
There are definitely a lot of people go to frats to party. But, if you don’t like going to frats and that’s not what you want to do, there are always house parties that are unaffiliated. You never have to go to frats, which is nice.
How happy were you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
No, I love it.
How did you meet your closest friends?
One was my roommate freshman and sophomore year. The other one I met the sorority that I’m no longer in.
How would you describe the social scene?
It’s vibrant. There’s always something going on. There’s always parties or events or sporting events. It’s awesome, you’re never without something to do.
How would you describe the student body?
I’d say they are hard working. A lot of them come from very affluent places. They do like to go out a lot. A lot of them like to smoke a lot. There’s not a lot of international students that I know of. It’s kind of a not diverse place. [Editor’s Note: there are about 1,900 international undergraduates at CU Boulder, making up about 6% of the undergraduate population.]
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
They mix fine. If they go out, they go out. I don’t think that there’s anything different.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Boulder by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Boulder?
How has the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado impacted your experience?
I mean it is a place where people like to smoke a lot. But if you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to. It’s not like people are making you smoke. It’s easier to get, but it’s not any more prevalent in peoples’ lives than it was before.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Boulder before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew that just because you don’t make friends right away at a big school, you’re still going to meet people. A lot of kids are in the same position, they’ve left home and the don’t know anything. You just have to give everyone time to settle down and then be social. It’s not going to happen overnight.
Reasons to attend CU Boulder:
1) It’s beautiful
2) It has a phenomenal Psychology program
3) There’s so much to do.
4) The people are friendly.
Reasons to not attend CU Boulder:
1) It’s expensive
2) It’s not very diverse. [In 2017, 68% of the student body was White.]
3) It’s far away from me.