The up-close view of the pristine and iconic Flatirons … the warm sunshine … the first-class instructors … when it comes to studying music at CU Boulder, what’s not to love? As we approach the final deadline to apply to the College of Music, student ambassador Isabel Goodwin has compiled a few of her favorite things about being a CU Boulder music student.
I grew up in Texas, and if there’s one thing I love about going to school in Colorado, it’s the weather. All year long, there are lots of beautiful days to go outside and hike! Unsurprisingly, Dallas is hot, but in Boulder it is so much nicer. I’m also in love with the snow days—I had never seen so much snow in my life before coming to CU Boulder.
Especially for me, the mountainous region of Colorado is a beautiful change of scenery! Every morning as I walk to class, the mountains serve as a reminder that I am somewhere new. I’ve grown to love the mountains even more through going on hikes all over Colorado. The Flatirons appear above CU Boulder all the time, and their unwavering beauty never fails to bring me some cheer.
Small music school, big university
The College of Music, yielding about 500 students, is one of the smallest colleges on campus, so the community is really tight-knit. However, the university itself is quite large and has all the amenities and opportunities that aren’t always available at smaller universities! This combination means that I can have smaller, more focused music classes, but I don't feel like I’m missing out on big lecture hall experiences when I take classes outside of the College of Music. It’s a win-win!
I absolutely love all my music professors! They are kind and expect us to work hard. They’re always available to help us learn and are extremely supportive of our musical endeavors. I especially love my applied lessons professors who push me to improve every day. I’ve also had great experiences outside of the College of Music! The professors at CU Boulder really want us to succeed and provide every tool to do so.
Access to Boulder and Denver
As students at CU Boulder, we have access to the buses that run around Boulder and to Denver. It can take some getting used to, but the buses are a wonderful resource for getting around! I feel independent with the ability to get almost anywhere by myself, and it’s great for the environment.
Speaking of … Boulder as a city is very environmentally conscious, and CU is not an exception. There are recycling and compost bins all around campus. The dining halls primarily use washable, metal utensils, and compostable ones as an alternative. Reusable water bottles can be filled at water stations all around campus. Everything from the building designs to the social culture emphasizes environmentalism. We all need to do our part to help our planet, and CU Boulder really encourages that. There are plenty of organizations to get involved in if environmentalism is your passion!
Ralphie and her alter ego, Chip, are the best mascot(s)
As a drawing, mascot, and real-life animal, the University of Colorado Boulder Buffalo—Chip AKA Ralphie—is the best mascot in the country, hands-down. In case you're wondering about the different names... Ralphie is the live buffalo who runs around the field before Buffs football games at Folsom Field, while Chip is the costumed mascot.
Boulder is a great host to visitors
When my family comes to see me, I know they’ll have a great time. The city of Boulder has countless fun places to explore, especially Pearl Street. And don’t forget, you can get there by bus!
The Boulder restaurants
When I get the opportunity to eat off campus, there are lots of amazing restaurants close by to try out! Many local restaurants also pair with food delivery apps, which is great for late-night study parties or stay-in celebrations.
The university cares about our mental health
This is a huge one. Living away from home is a challenge, no matter how far away you are. It is really important to ask for help, and CU Boulder has pathways to do so. The Counseling and Psychiatric Services Program (CAPS) provides students help, whether it’s drop-by counseling or more consistent arrangements. In my experience, the professors and staff at the university have also been understanding of mental health issues. Mental health is taken extremely seriously. We’re all learning how to be independent humans, and I think we’re really lucky that CU helps us learn not only academically, but mentally and emotionally, too.
There are so many great things about being a student at CU Boulder. Don’t forget to complete your CU Boulder application by Jan. 15!
Isabel Goodwin is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Music in bassoon performance as well as a Bachelor of Music in composition. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Isabel loves creating art through music, visual art and videography.