From the outside in: UCCS from a transfer student’s perspective

May 10, 2016

Joe Hollmann
jhollma@uccs.edu

UCCS has a lot of “Cs” in it.

That’s the first thing I noticed when I transferred to this school.

There are also a lot of white people.

These hills suck, too.

And when are the people in charge going to learn that the solution to more parking are these things called parking garages?

But holy moly, look at that view of Pikes Peak and the rest of those rugged Rocky Mountains.

As a transfer student from the University of Colorado-Denver, it was helpful to have some reasonable comparison to what a college could be like.

Despite my transfer coming from within the CU system, there was still quite a bit of striking differences between UCD and UCCS.

For instance, many of the classrooms on campus are quality places to take a quick nap and learn a few things as well. UCCS has done a great job at creating spaces for this (except for Columbine).

The affordability of tuition allows you to work and go to school without accumulating massive amounts of student debt or leaning heavily on financial aid or scholarships.

It’s the perfect middle-class college, so be prepared to meet a lot of other middle-class students.

UCCS sucks when it comes to food on campus. Café 65 has some decent food, but Denver’s campus had visiting food trucks and an entire food court with the likes of Taco Bell, Starbucks, Subway and Qdoba.

As a transfer, also be prepared for the culture of Colorado Springs. Apart from D.P. Dough and Albertacos, most stores and restaurants close before midnight.

Getting around town without a car is next to impossible, where the bus and light rail systems up in Denver allowed for a precious amount of accessibility for the car-less college student.

If you are looking to get involved in Greek life there is good news, it’s slowly becoming a large presence on campus.

Intramurals here are great, something UCD didn’t have much of because you can’t put a soccer field in the middle of downtown Denver.

One of the more unfortunate things about UCCS is the lack of outside areas you can devote to tossing a disc around with friends, reading Nietzsche under a tree or taking a nap between classes.

If you plan to stay on campus, the library and University Center are the only two places to go.

They are central to campus and keep you warm in the winter, but they don’t facilitate much apart from studying and socializing.

In Colorado Springs, the rent is dirt cheap compared to Denver.

For many, this doesn’t help to pay bills, but maybe it can help your attitude, as rent within walking distance of UCD started at $800. And that was for those dinky studio apartments.

But with all these comparisons, UCCS will end up being a pleasant surprise, like when you find a $5 bill stuffed inside your coat pocket or when you find out an assignment isn’t due for another week.

It is the warmth of concrete that has baked in the rays of the sun all day, and the nostalgic breeze of summer nights.

Many people look at UCCS as a second or third choice. Many transfer students come from within Colorado just to get out of their hometown or previous situation.

But UCCS, when you take it for what it is, will give you the amenities and experiences of college, and will surprisingly quench many of the desires you had for college.