Published: Feb. 26, 2016

View over Boulder from the top of the Flatirons

For those of you reading who have been to both Philadelphia as well as Boulder, you might have picked up that there are some minor differences between the two cities… and by minor differences, I mean basically everything. It’s quite the change, growing up in the East Coast, getting used to that lifestyle, and then coming to Boulder. Even though I did spend a few years living abroad, it was still a big transition—in my head I made the culture of Philadelphia synonymous with American culture, and hence learning how to be a Boulderite was most certainly a change. Earlier in the year, I wrote a blog covering a topic very similar to this one (first one to find it wins), but I thought it might be nice to follow-up, and see if I still stand by what I’ve said in the past.

A common misconception about Boulder culture (especially if you’re not from Colorado) is that everyone here is a “hippie” (yes, I thought this too before arriving here!). After spending my first semester here though, I realized quickly that being a Boulderite is just about having a more open state of mind. It’s about being more willing to live, laugh and talk with anyone and everyone, disregarding any barriers that social norms have attempted to establish between people.  I don’t think I was quite able to grasp that at the beginning of the year, but now I have, and I understand what it is like to be a part of the Boulder family.

Another common outside perception of Boulder is that we are all really healthy and fit. This one is actually true and it’s a lot more prominent than I ever thought it would be. I knew Boulder was healthy and all, but essentially everyone here could probably be in the Olympics if they wanted to. Boulder holds to its title even more than I realized as healthiest city in America.

Finally, I’ll touch up on the idea of what it means to be a Buff. I still don’t know fully, but I definitely think I’ve learned a lot since I started here. Being a Buff isn’t just a title that you get for going to CU-Boulder. No. Being a Buff means getting involved, going to the sports games and making friends. Being a Buff is about going to Cosmo’s Pizza at 1:30am and chowing down. But most importantly, being a Buff is about taking pride in the beautiful place we all get to call our home, and enjoying the company of the amazing people surrounding us every day.



Benjamin Rains