Hi there… I'm Dooley.
I've been accepted to CC via Early Action (woohoo!) and though I'm waiting for my financial aid package to be finalized before I send in the official paperwork, I definitely plan to be attending this coming fall. Sweetness.
I've been told often that I over-think things. So, if these questions seem ridiculous to be asking at this point, they probably are. I'm going to ask anyway.
Though my address says Denver, I'm on the northern edge of the boonies so there's a great deal of Boulderite influence on my soul. J Be warned. Oh, and I spent the 2005-2006 school year in Germany, so there's that bit of European wackiness as well.
Just as a bit of background:
I'm not 100% on what I'll be majoring. I'm teetertottering between History with a focus on Latin America and/or the Southwest, or Southwest Studies. I plan on getting at least a minor in -both- Spanish and German. I speak both pretty well, and have put a great deal of time into both, so it would be ridiculous not to. I need to work on my grammar for German, and I'm absolutely fascinated by Latin America as well as the Mexican and Southwest Cultures. Somewhere in there I need to fit in pre-Law requirements.
Also, ever since I was little I've wanted to learn Japanese.
Yes, I am insane.
Anyway, I have a few questions for you guys (er, and gals)…
1. Food How is the dining hall fodder?
I ate there when I came to visit in August, and was duly unimpressed. Also, I'm pretty health-conscious, bordering on vegetarian (not strict, just convenient), and I'm used to cooking my own meals. I can't really afford to eat off campus, so I was wondering what the kitchen options are. Would it be possible to cook for myself occasionally? From what I understand the two freshman dorms have kitchens; one has three or four, and the other has only one. Is that right? What about Bemis? (Yes, I'm female.)
Please tell me there's a good Mexican restaurant nearby.
Also, I'm a tea fiend. Would it be okay to have an electric teapot (i.e. one that plugs into the wall) in the dorms?
2. Bike Storage
I plan on bringing my mountain bike with me. I like biking recreationally, and for getting around. Also, since Freshmen aren't allowed to have cars, it seems convenient. From what I've seen, Colorado Springs seems pretty biker friendly. Is this true? Are there good paths around?
So… Where in the world would I store it? It doesn't seem like many of you trust the bike shed very much, so should I invest in some heavy-duty locks? Also, the last time I got my bike tuned up, the lovely mechanic decided to make the wheels easy-release, without checking with me first. Thanks, bud. Should I get that fixed, or is tire theft much of a problem?
I read a previous reference to someone storing his bike in his closet, and a couple of friends have recommend I look into a bike rack that would fit in my dorm room somehow. I laugh. Ha. Haha. Dorm rooms are small enough, right? But… Is security really so much of an issue that I might want to look into that?
Does CC have a student Orchestra group? Or are there groups in Colorado Springs that students usually play for? Also, are there practice rooms? Locals who teach lessons? Though I'm obviously not a music major, I'd like to keep up with playing, and hopefully not drive fellow dorm dwellers up the walls when I practice… (hence the practice room question).
I'm definitely going to miss free access to an electric viola. :(
Though I realize that CC is renowned for their Division 1 women's soccer program, I'm interested in playing intramurals. Do any of you have experience with this? I figure it's a good way to meet other people interested in the sport, but who aren't necessarily willing to spend their lives playing.
Also, how are the hockey and soccer game turnouts? Is it a big social thing, mostly just sports fans, or what?
Do you know if Colorado Springs local recreational or competitive leagues are very active? I don't know if I'd have time to play on one, but I referee part time, so it would be cool if I could do that on Saturdays or something. Do you think I'd be too busy, even if I could find a club to work for?
5. Clubs and Outdoorsey Crap
How active are the clubs? Are they a good way to really go out and meet people, or do most students not even bother? I'd love to get involved in something random, like Ultimate Frisbee or Rock Climbing, but I'd prefer a laid back atmosphere where I could just get to know people and have fun.
Do a lot of people head straight to the mountains on weekends? I love hiking, camping, and snowboarding (even though I suck at it!), and I'd love to be able to meet up with other people interested in that sort of thing.
6. Language Study
How are the language courses? I'd bet it's intense, crammed into 3 ½ weeks, but that's literally how I learned German, so I guess it'd be okay. Mostly though, I'm curious about the adjunct (?) courses. Do you feel that they're enough to keep up your language skill, or do you have to put a ton of personal time into it as well?
Is it possible to take adjunct refreshers for multiple languages, or would I be better off say, hiring a tutor for Spanish (not that I can afford it, but in theory…)? I plan on keeping up with both German and Spanish, but I've always wanted to take Japanese… Would this be insane on the block plan?
7. Community Service
Do a lot of students take part in local community service? I'm particularly interested in youth programs, tutoring or sports related. Around here there are a lot of minority students who need help with English and/or cultural integration, and a lot of the local elementary schools look for volunteers to help the kids connect through extracurriculars (i.e. soccer). Are those sorts of opportunities available in Colorado Springs? I don't mean to sound harsh, but compared to where I live it seems very… white.
At some point I'd like to teach English abroad, and I'm interested in immigration law, so I'd love to get as much experience as I can. I'm just worried I might be cramming myself a bit too much with classes and whatnot on top of that. What do you guys think?
Speaking of abroad…
8. Study Abroad
CC seems to have a great deal of Study Abroad opportunity. Have any of you taken part in any of their programs? It might be crazy, but I'd love to do both the Lüneberg semester -and- the trip to Costa Rica. Is it worth it?
Okay, let's get this out of the way – I'm a bookworm. I don't watch TV; I read. How much space will I have for my books? Will I have any time to read them?
I assume there's a lot of required reading for class, as well. Do you end a class with a longer reading list than when you began? I always seem to. As in, my teacher will mention a book that sounds fascinating, or we'll only read an excerpt, and I'll end up nabbing it at the used bookstore later on.
Are there any good used bookstores in Colorado Springs? Are they dangerous (i.e. hide your wallet and run, lest ye return with 20 softbacks) or only mildly appealing?
10. Anything else I should know?
…wow. That was incredibly long - much more so than I intended it to be. Thanks to anyone who actually bothered to read through all of that. Much more thanks to anyone who attempts to answer my Rambly Questions O' Doom™.