Should I Go To University of Colorado Boulder?

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Eric received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics and English from University of Colorado Boulder. He is currently a tutor in Denver specializing in Creative Writing tutoring, Essay Editing tutoring, Physics tutoring, and several other subjects. See what he had to say about his experience at University of Colorado Boulder:

VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or rural is the campus? Did you feel safe on campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?

Eric: Boulder is somewhat college-centric, and most of the student housing (which is also more expensive) is within walking or biking distance from campus. I preferred biking, and bike lanes were available on pretty much every street, as many avid bikers live in Boulder. The public transportation is readily available, and it is free for students. It can get people who live as far as the Denver suburbs to school on time, though it is a longer commute.

VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Eric: In my experience, the teachers are generally busy, but they are willing to schedule meetings with you. They are also always available during their mandatory office hours. Also, finding a research position is not that challenging if you are willing to reach out to professors, but some may give you seemingly insurmountable tasks and expect you to work completely autonomously. Others will act more as mentors – it really depends on the professor.  

VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Eric: Certain people enjoy dorm life. Students are required to live in the dorms during their first year, and the dorms range in quality. The dining options are good, and socialization is dependent upon the person, as it is in every other situation. Ultimately, I ended up living off-campus my second year and did not move back, as I found it to be cheaper than the dorms.

VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?

Eric: University of Colorado Boulder has a wide range of represented majors, as it is a large state school. As a Physics major, there were a massive amount of opportunities for students to engage in research, even with many national laboratories like JILA, NOAA, NIST, etc. As an English major, there were also many literature/poetry lovers throughout the school and wider community. I would say University of Colorado Boulder did a fantastic job of supporting my wide range of interests.

VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Eric: I made friends with my freshman dormmates, and I ended up living with them throughout all of college. Greek life is weak at University of Colorado Boulder compared to other schools, and I did not participate in it. I found it easy enough to meet people and make friends.

VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus? 

Eric: I went once, and they gave me some valuable pointers on my resume.

VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Eric: At finals time, every study location tends to get crowded, but not overly so. During the semester, however, space is easily available. The library is a good place to study, as are lounges specific to major, dorm, laboratory, etc.  

VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus? 

Eric: If you are a mountain person, there is no better place on earth. I came to University of Colorado Boulder in part because of the rock climbing; there were an overwhelming number of world-class options. For skiing, there are world-class resorts as little as an hour away. The town of Boulder is somewhat insular and homogenized in terms of worldview (liberal), but it is a great town to explore.

VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Eric: University of Colorado Boulder is a large state school. Expect to take some classes with more than 200 people. In the upper-division courses, the class size thins out. At least it did for Physics and English, though I hear more popular majors such as Psychology tend to have larger upper-division courses. I found this to my liking, particularly in Physics, where I got to know the other people well because we had many of the same classes throughout college.

VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Eric: In the course “Writing to Know Poetry,” my English professor was moved to tears by our class on the last day of the semester. I definitely never had a Physics professor cry on the last day, though.

Check out Eric’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.