Oct. 20, 2014

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

UCCS? Ha, as if!”

These were the words I told my college prep leader as we left a tour of UCCS.

It was spring break of 2011 and I was in my senior year of high school. Ahead of me were decisions and goals that would affect my future, a future that did not include becoming a UCCS Mountain Lion.

“It’s a nice school but I just don’t want to be this close to my parents, plus they don’t have my major,” I justified to my teacher. “It’s not my fi rst choice.”

On a scale of one to 10, UCCS was at best a five. I truly did not want to attend this campus. There was simply no awe factor when I visited. The sights and views pointed out during the tour were landscapes I had grown accustomed to. My heart was set on the foothills of Boulder, with 30,000 of who I thought would be my closest friends. I could transfer my job, take out loans, obtain my degree in broadcast journalism and instantly become a newscaster for the Denver region. Life was going to be good, or so I thought.

Fast forward to 2014 and things have really changed. With three years down it’s hard to imagine my life without this university.

The parking woes, the hustled walks between classes and the long line of students waiting for the shuttle in front of Centennial Hall are just a few of the daily sights that offer me a peace of mind while milling around campus. It’s a stark contrast from how I expected my life to unfold.

With few living options and even fewer fi nances, I quickly realized my dream of attending Boulder would be diffi cult to achieve. But in reevaluating my choices and looking over what credits can transfer where, I settled for UCCS.

I’m a social guy, so I tried to make the best out of a gloomy situation. I was determined to only spend two years at the campus before being reunited with my true love: CU-Boulder.

But I quickly made friends with peers and professors and networked my way through UCCS. I was rewarded with my current job at The Scribe, connections with The Gazette, an internship with an amazing company and a resume I am confi dent with. Before I knew it, two years went by. Could it be that the college I had crossed off my list was now becoming home?

Sometimes we are forced to stray from our fi rst choices. But it’s these moments that we must learn to take advantage of. I do not know what doors may have opened had I gone to Boulder. But I have created my own keys to success and am presented with opportunities that I could have only had by enrolling at UCCS.

UCCS has granted opportunities that would have been much harder to obtain at Boulder. I’m not lost in a crowd of 30,000 students. Instead, UCC S offers me opportunities to stand out. It’s taught me how to be flexible and to not freak out should things not go my way.

For not being my first choice, things have worked out pretty darn well.