When I first moved to Colorado from Arlington, Texas, I stared at the mountains and foothills and finally understood all the adventure novels I grew up reading. Mountains are so incredibly cool, and so gorgeous. I went to high school in Breckenridge, Colorado, the ski town, but as awesome as that place is, I have absolutely relished my time at Boulder.
First, let’s talk food. My love for delicious food was born and bred in Texas, and I can tell you it has only grown in Colorado. We may not have Whataburger, but we have Smashburger, which offers fresh, never frozen burgers and (my favorite) rosemary seasoned Smashfries. In Boulder, you can stroll down Pearl Street through local (better) versions of Hallmark and watch the street performers while choosing between burgers or sushi for dinner. If you’re like me, you might stop by a little gelato cafe with house-made waffle cones because yes, they can actually be a quarter inch thick and simply amazing.
However! Colorado has more than great food to offer. You’ve probably heard about how much we in Colorado love the outdoors, and I’m happy to say this is true. No matter how “normal” someone seems, you’ll probably find out they hiked a fourteen thousand foot mountain (or two) last summer. You’ll quickly realize that Colorado’s “normal” people spend way more time outside than Texans, especially in Boulder, where a short walk takes you to a hike in the mountains (no joke), where natural streams and lakes abound.
You actually may find yourself walking all kinds of places too when you live in a place that is neither boring nor an absolute furnace. True, we have winter, but with our low humidity it was easy for me to adjust to with a good coat. I grew up in Texas, but I simply can’t see myself returning to that heat ever again.
Maybe in the South you’ve heard that everyone in Colorado is a hippie and you think you wouldn’t fit in. The truth is, I wondered about that too, but what I’ve found is that people are simply attentive. They’re open to learn about whatever it is you find interesting, even if they’ve never heard about it. Not to mention everyone here takes such good care of themselves. Freshman fifteen? More like freshman lifting. In all seriousness though, Coloradans (especially in Boulder) make such a habit of being healthy that it’s never overbearing, it’s just what they do.
As strange as it sounds, I really didn’t know I would be Boulder Bound until I came to the campus. I remember I had a cold, it was cloudy, and snow was everywhere when I took a tour, but somehow Boulder clicked. I loved the idea of this massive amount of people that are so open and active; people who don’t settle, they keep moving and thinking and changing all the time, acting as catalysts for each other and their community. Being in Boulder gave me a taste of that, and I wanted more. Now that I’ve been here for nine months, I can say it was true to an extent I couldn’t have imagined.
As this semester draws to a close, I’ve started to think about what I’ll miss when I go home for the summer. I’ve made friends with people I didn’t think I would, from the coolest grad students in karate class at the rec, to the crazy innovative social media enthusiasts, to my hilarious dorm mates, all of whom have made Be Boulder mean something unique and fantastic.
Boulder is full of great food, people and weather that you’ll be bragging about to everyone back in Texas. I promise.