Published: Aug. 27, 2020 By

There are so many little things that I wish I would have known before coming to CU, or even to the state of Colorado. Lucky for you, here’s your guide to all things CU and Colorado!


You may find yourself experiencing shortness of breath, lightheadedness or dizziness.These are all symptoms of altitude sickness. If you are from out of state, like me, and not used to being this high up, then it takes a little bit of time to get used to. Gradually increasing your activity level is one way to help you adjust. 

Another way to help is to stay very hydrated. Staying hydrated is always important, especially if you are this high up! Do not worry, it is perfectly normal to experience these symptoms at first. It just takes a few weeks to acclimate.

Dealing with a dry climate

Colorado is a very dry state, so it is important to stay hydrated and moisturize. If your skin is getting dry then you should constantly be putting on lotion to avoid irritation. 

Drink water! Water is evaporated out of your skin much quicker in Colorado than in humid climates, which is why it is very important to stay hydrated. Another pro tip to avoid dryness is to carry around lip balm. I carry lip balm and my water bottle around with me at all times. 

Wear lots of sunscreen

Be careful! The sun here is strong, especially because we are at a higher elevation. Colorado is known for its 360 days of sunshine, so it is important to lather up. You may not think you will need it when you go skiing, however the sun is very deceiving. I made the mistake of not wearing sunscreen when I went spring skiing on a cloudy day but I got the worst sunburn that I have ever gotten. So be careful and, when in doubt, wear sunscreen! 

Get used to being on your own schedule

In high school you become used to a routine, where you go to school for a certain amount of hours each day, typically around the 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. range, and you have a certain amount of periods, or classes, each day. One of the benefits of college is that you get to create your own schedule! You could start at 8 a.m. or you could start at noon—your choice! 

However, along with the benefit of choosing your own schedule comes the responsibility of managing your time wisely. If you enjoy sleeping in and choose to start your day at noon, it is very easy to sleep until 11 a.m., go to class and put off your homework until the end of the day. Trust me, I got roped into this habit at the start of my freshman year! I found myself staying up late hours to finish my homework since I was poorly managing my time.

As the semester progressed, I learned to go to bed early so I could wake up a few hours before my class started and get some homework done. It made a huge difference! So remember, you may have the privilege of creating your own schedule, but you also have to be responsible and manage your time wisely. 

Meet new classmates 

Don’t be afraid to step a little outside of your comfort zone—the key to meeting new people is to take that extra step and put yourself out there! Each Canvas course you are in has a feature on the sidebar to the left called “people.” If you click on this tab, then you are able to see your entire course roster. Don’t be afraid to reach out and email a couple of people in your class to get to know each other and get a small study group going! 

Get involved

Getting involved is a great way to not only meet new people but to explore your interests and make your time at CU feel more at home. We have more than 550 recognized student organizations, so there is something for you! Browse organizations on BuffConnect and find your passion within the CU Boulder community.