It's inevitable; no matter how hard you try to avoid it, there's no escaping it. At one time or another during your stay at CSU you'll find yourself trapped there, surrounded by expensive bars, cocksure fraternity-folk and the overwhelming stench of mommy and daddy's money.
I'm talking, of course, about our over-priced neighbor to the south: Boulder.
Just the very mention of the B-Word sends a snotty shudder down my spine. Unfortunately, we all find ourselves dropping the occasional B-Bomb; whether it's for a football game, family event or because your misguided and persuasive friends from high school force you to come visit them, at some point in your college career you'll find yourself forced to cross enemy lines.
Many will make this treacherous journey; few will come back alive and unchanged. My job: to train you to become relentless yippie-killing machines. In this article I will provide you with all the tools and knowledge you need in order to survive a Buffs encounter.
You'll know you've reached the forsaken city the moment a pedestrian randomly jumps out in front of your car. The key is to stay calm; this is normal for Boulder.
Just think of it as a real-life game of "Frogger," except the roles are reversed. Try and get the pedestrians to ricochet off the side of your car and you'll be fine. The last thing you want is to have a trustafarian stuck under your tires – they're almost impossible to scrape off.
Once you've safely reached your destination, the next challenge becomes blending in with the locals. The first thing you'll notice is that you're surrounded by "popped" pink collars.
Don't panic, you're not trapped in a "Laguna Beach" re-run. As long as you have an extra collared shirt you'll be fine. Simply "pop" the collar and begin to mingle. Remember, it never hurts to carry a spare in case one collar accidentally flops down; the last thing you want is to get caught in Boulder with a limp collar.
After a long night of throwing away your hard-earned money at Boulder's pricey bars, nothing hits the spot like some late-night grub. While there's plenty of pizza joints open late, buyer beware: the streets at night in Boulder are hostile and unforgiving; from drunken frat kids to persistent panhandlers, there's always a hunger-crazed individual out there willing to do anything for a free bite.
Run, don't walk by every bus stop you come across. The last time I casually strolled by one with a pizza box, I was accosted by a gorgeous and equally misleading freshman. At first, I thought she was just taken by my rugged features, but when I realized she just had her eyes on a different kind of meat it was too late.
She jumped onto my back like a monkey and relentlessly swatted for my oven-baked goods. I screamed, "No means no," but my cries fell on deaf ears. I was finally able to fend her off by (gently) hurling her off my backside onto the cold, hard pavement.
Another challenge that must be overcome in order to survive a night in the Boulder-hole is maintaining control of your belligerent CU companions. For some reason the right combination of alcohol, testosterone and downwind fumes from Greeley entices Boulderites to randomly point out that you're from CSU in crowded places. Maybe my friends just want me dead, but either way this is always something for which you have to be prepared.
Knowledge is power, my well-informed friends; I have armed you with enough information to keep you safe in the prissiest of Boulder alleys. The B-Word doesn't have to be a bad one, just as long as you can remember your survival skills.
One final piece of advice before I let you get back to blankly staring at your professor: don't get caught pretending to ride CU's beloved golden mascot "Ralphie" like a bull – apparently that's frowned upon. Don't worry though – I took pictures.
Steven Gross is a senior finance/real estate major. His column runs every week in Verve.