Re-Framing the Education Conversation

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May 092013

Author: Mary Willson

          In the US, the average life expectancy is 83 years, according to the US Social Security Administration.

       A college semester is four months, which is .6 percent of that average. A university bachelors degree is generally obtained in four years, just 4.8 percent of the general American life.


            Personally, I am finishing up my sophomore year. I have given 2.4 percent of my live to higher education to date.

 This identity of what I have become: class, exams, papers, extracurricular, jobs; internships seem to define me sometimes. All of the scholarly labels seem to be the aspects of me that my parent’s friends ask about. They don’t go around asking what I believe in, what I am passionate about, or what my favorite way to spend a sunny Colorado day is. They ask what I am studying, and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I find myself challenging this, wanting to lash out and rebel.  And then I remember, they are asking this because I am lucky. I am in college.

            As finals week comes into full swing, I notice social media highlights this negative conversation. Instagram snaps the scene of Morgan Library at 3 am, Facebook statuses about the burdens of hard tests, and twitter posts dedicated to hating chemistry or anatomy class. I am definitely guilty of this in one form or another as deadlines; finals and classes take their toll.

 Yet, the high traffic of this negativity we all show and feel toward the end of the semester causes an uneasy feeling every semester, and particularly this semester, as my life view has been rocked recently.

            This semester, I have completely been re-taught what education means to our world. I am from an education-focused family, my dad is a professor here on campus, my sister graduated from CU, and I have always been on the path to graduate from CSU. It is just how my middle class, Fort Collins raised life has been set. And there is nothing wrong with that, until I found myself forgetting I am lucky.

Francis and Isaya pose in December in front of a local school. Francis is finishing up his High School education this year and wants to get a degree in Agriculture and Tourism and become an educated tour guide in order to bring income back into his village.

Francis and Isaya pose in December in front of a local school. Francis is finishing up his High School education this year and wants to get a degree in Agriculture and Tourism and become an educated tour guide in order to bring income back into his village.

Brett Bruyere, Warner College of Natural Resource professor and Samburu Youth Education Fund founder talks with local teacher at a scholarship award ceremony in December.

Brett Bruyere, Warner College of Natural Resource professor and Samburu Youth Education Fund founder talks with local teacher at a scholarship award ceremony in December.

     In December, I traveled to Kenya, Africa through SLiCE’s Alternative Break Program. As cliché as it is to narrate how students will give anything to be in a classroom, to get the opportunity to have education–it is actually true. That played up sentence is not just from the Compassion International commercials. In fact, it is the reality of millions of normal college-aged students around the world.

     It is fun, energetic young adults, just like us—that are in love with education. The CSU group I was with became close with four students. These students have had their education funded by the Samburu Youth Education Fund—a donation based scholarship program set up by CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources professor Brett Bruyere.

A doctor, professor, tour guide, and chef they want to become, and they all travel hours to days to get to school, where they stay for five consecutive months to learn. And they know they are lucky, because they are the only peers from their village to get this education.

            The passion felt for having a future outside of their environment in the rural bush area of Archers Post, Kenya was invigorating after I felt worn out from a rough semester of 18 credits.

            An additional wake up call I felt mid-college experience this spring is visiting my sister, who has dedicated two years to teaching low-income students in Charleston, South Carolina through the non-profit organization Teach for America (TFA). TFA places passionate post-grads or professionals and matches them with failing schools, in order to keep skilled teachers in the system. My sister’s sixth graders are all extremely low-income, extremely below grade reading level and math due to lack of school funding, limited parental support and little educational influence. These students have never felt they even have the option to get a higher education and most don’t know anyone who has other than their teachers. They aren’t on the college track like I was, and most unfortunately will not ever be.

         My sister works hard to remind her students they can go on to be a college student, her room is decked out with Buff swag, her alma mater, and she is constantly highlighting students who have beat the odds like she believes they can. Yet, the culture shock she has felt moving from her college-dedicated life in Colorado to the juxtaposed life in South Carolina has sparked my realization as well: we are all an exception.

My sister, Laura, also coaches a cheerleading team as a TFA teacher.

My sister, Laura, also coaches a cheerleading team as a TFA teacher.

            I am currently in a mentorship program through CSU’s Access Center called the Dream Team, which was started at Washington State University, and has grown nation wide throughout the last years. The program’s objective is to give guidance, support and resources to higher education to first generation high school students in the community. Through this program, we have a weekly class in which we learn about the education system, identity and ourselves.

        Through the astonishing statistics about the nations true education system is daunting after growing up in suburbia Fort Collins, with the excellent Poudre School District.

            Overall, through these experiences, the reality of my college experience seems damn great compared to what the majority of countries, states, demographics and individuals face. I am in college, and I will graduate—just like most of us reading this.

            While the stress of school is real, and the dedication to education is widely apparent on campus, I cant help but think what if we all reframe the conversation. Together, we could change the conversation from negativity, to positivity. Instead of “finals will be the death of me,” what if we all reframe it to be “I am lucky to be working hard to get my education,” because the reality is, we are lucky.

Apr 032013

Author: Logan Martinez

Wanting an escape from all the construction clinging and clanging? Next fall, you will have a home away from home.

rams bookstore

The Rams Bookstore, on the corner of Laurel and Mason Streets is implementing The Boot Grill. Photo by Logan Martinez

The Rams Bookstore, located at 130 Laurel St. since 1970, is implementing The Boot Grill, a CSU themed sports bar and grill. It will feature the restaurants well known prime rib, house-made green chili, a vast burger menu and a variety of daily lunch specials, while still hosting textbooks and CSU merchandise.

Griff Kull, owner of the Rams Bookstore since 1977, said due to the fluctuation in textbook sales throughout the year, with high sales times at the beginning of each semester, it was time to consider a new way to utilize the space.

“We are looking to do something different with the building at this point because we have half of the space allocated for college textbooks, which is only necessary for about four or five months of the year, and the rest of the year that space isn’t used as much,” Kull said.

The Boot Grill has been open for two years at a locally owned Loveland location. The opportunity to move to this location near campus arose and they wanted to cater to the CSU audience of students, faculty and fans. The bar will feature live music, much like their Loveland location. Marlena Bartlett, assistant general manager of The Boot Grill, is looking forward to creating a fun and inviting atmosphere for their Fort Collins audience.

“We want to bring in fun customers that are looking for a delicious meal — lunch or dinner — and want to enjoy country and classic rock music,” Bartlett said. “We have seen success at our Loveland location and many of our guests tell us that they look forward to having a place like The Boot Grill in Fort Collins.”

Kull is looking forward to this fun atmosphere to compliment the bookstore.

“We were looking for something to complement the apparel and gift business, imprinted Colorado State officially licensed merchandise business,” Kull said. “It seemed like having someone come in with a sports bar and grill would be beneficial for both of us.”

In the tri-level store, The Boot Grill with be located half on the main level and take up the full upper level of the building. On the main level and anticipated rooftop patio, patrons will be able to enjoy looking out onto the Mason Corridor and MAX transit system.

“We will offer live music on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as a roof top outdoor patio and a comfortable welcoming atmosphere,” Bartlett said. “We want it to be a fun environment, lively, and a place where people really enjoy their dining out experience.”

Implementing The Boot means food and beverage near campus, but does not mean textbooks are leaving The Rams Bookstore.

“We are partnered with a company with a good online presence, so it is going to allow us to rent more books and be more competitive with our rental prices,” Kull said. “Throughout the semester, if you are waiting to buy the book until you are sure you need it, we should have good prices available.”

The bookstore will still be open throughout the renovation and is planning to have both sides open for the kickoff of fall semester.

Five Fort Collins boutiques that rock

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Apr 032013

Author: Michaela Koretko

Fort Collins is all about the trendy, quirky, funky, and chic. The small, locally owned boutiques help define Old Town and make it unique. Here are five of the must-visit boutiques in town:
GG Boutique
This boutique is young and fun, full of contemporary style apparel and accessories. It features clothing with bright colors and bold patterns in both casual and dressy styles.
Kansas City Kitty
This quirky store sells mostly clothing, featuring many locally made personal and home accessories. It receives new items two or three times a week, but only gets the same item in once.
Killer Rabbit
Named after the beast from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Killer Rabbit sells young men’s clothing, especially hats and plaid shirts. This is the only exclusively men’s boutique in Old Town, and currently features the mustache fad.
Repeat Boutique
Located just east of campus, Repeat Boutique sells gently used clothing, accessories, shoes, toys, and home decor. The styles they consign and sell are mostly trendy and retro.
White Balcony
This store is owned by the same people as Killer Rabbit. It has a large variety of odds and ends, from cards, journals and home accessories to clothing and accessories. One employee described the boutique as “a color-coded treasure hunt.”

FoCoMX gets rock and rolling for the fifth year

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Mar 292013

Author: Tony Vessels

Fort Collins is a great city for artists. Not only do we have CSU, which has a fantastic program for music, theater and dance, but the city of Fort Collins also has multiple foundations and groups dedicated to the arts and to the many fans of music and art.

The Fort Collins Music Association, or FoCoMA, is one such group. Founded in 2009 by Greta Cornett and Kevin Micke, FoCoMA concentrates on local music, aiding bands with getting up on their feet.

Dead Floyd playing at the Aggie Theatre at FoCoMX 2012. Photo by Allison LeCain.

Dead Floyd playing at the Aggie Theatre at FoCoMX 2012. Photo by Allison LeCain.

The Fort Collins Music eXperiment (FoCoMX) is a weekend long annual music festival in Fort Collins run by FoCoMA, and this year marks the fifth time around.

FoCoMX features a wide variety of local bands and music types, including (but not limited to) reggae, Latin, metal, pop, blues, jazz, electronic and rock.

“I love FoCoMX because it really lets me experience what our city is all about,” said Bradley Vogel, a Fort Collins native. This year will mark the third year in a row Bradley has attended FoCoMX.

“I love seeing the city, and I love hearing the music in such a friendly space,” Vogel said. “It’s almost like I have a personal investment in all these bands because they’re homegrown. And I love witnessing their growth.”

The venues widely vary and are all over Old Town Fort Collins and the northern part of the city. From bars, bowling alleys, and movie theaters, FoCoMX has become a great way to get a good taste of local music in the truly unique setting of Fort Collins.

Sponsored by FoCoMA, the City of Fort Collins, the Bohemian Foundation, Odell Brewing Co., and many others, it truly is a great example of local sights and sound.

“I’ve been looking forward to the festival ever since I first heard about it. It sounds amazing,” said Sarah Julie. FoCoMX5 will be her first time going to the festival.

“I think it’s amazing how Fort Collins is so dedicated to music. This is an amazing opportunity for the bands and us fans alike,” Julie said.

FoCoMX5 accepts hundreds of volunteers every year, from working the door at venues, assisting with production or staging, helping with will-call and ticket stands, or even emceeing a stage. FoCoMX prides itself in allowing volunteers to help out, making it a great time for all.

FoCoMX5 is happening on the nights of April 19 and April 20. Wristbands can be purchased online at for $20 through April 7. After that, they can be purchased online or at Rock ‘N’ Robin’s for $30. FoCoMX is for all ages, with only a few venues exclusively 18+ or 21+.

MAX Benefit: New transit system to ease congestion in Fort Collins

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Mar 272013

Author: Kelsey Contouris

Let’s face it – getting around Fort Collins can be a pain sometimes. Whether by foot, bike, car or bus, we are often subject to inclement weather, detours and the all-too-common traffic jam. With the city’s population continuing to grow, the traffic will only get worse based on our current infrastructure. To fight the problem, the city’s transportation system is undergoing a major change: the addition of the MAX Bus Rapid Transit service.

A rendering of the completed system provides a sneak peek at what will come to be known as the University station and the "gateway" to Colorado State's campus. Photo courtesy of Max Bus Rapid Transit.

A rendering of the completed system provides a sneak peek at what will come to be known as the University station and the “gateway” to Colorado State’s campus. Photo courtesy of Max Bus Rapid Transit.

Projected to be up and running by May 2014, the MAX transit system will connect North and South Fort Collins via the Mason Corridor, making the whole of the city more readily accessible to residents on either end.

According to the City of Fort Collins website, there will be 12 boarding stations and two transit centers: one just south of Harmony Road and one just north of Laporte Avenue. A total of six accordion-style buses will travel up and down the Mason Corridor, arriving at stops every 10 minutes or so. Passengers can pay at ticket kiosks before boarding buses, giving MAX the convenience of a light rail system. Buses will run Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to midnight.

The MAX system will also be integrated with Fort Collins’ regular bus service, Transfort, according to the website. Claire Thomas, the public relations coordinator for the City of Fort Collins, said Transfort will adopt some of the technology that will be used by MAX, such as real-time bus arrival information. Transfort may also change its routes slightly to accommodate the MAX stations, making it easier for passengers to travel east or west from stops.

“It will really up their game,” Thomas said.

Re-routing residents through CSU's campus, construction crews have blocked off a section of Prospect Rd. in between College Ave. and Centre Ave. The closure is scheduled to last until April 14. Photo by Natasha Leadem.

Re-routing residents through CSU’s campus, construction crews have blocked off a section of Prospect Rd. in between College Ave. and Centre Ave. The closure is scheduled to last until April 14. Photo by Natasha Leadem.

Having a new mass transportation system that spans the majority of the city will also be of particular benefit to the CSU community. In addition to stopping at Prospect Road and Laurel Street, buses will stop on campus at a University Avenue station, which will be larger than others.

“There will be a larger plaza area with a berm and some landscaping and a boulder-wall seating area,” Thomas said. “There [will be] many more bike racks than any other station.”

The MAX Transit project also gives Fort Collins the unique opportunity to update the midtown area along College Avenue. There exists the potential for new student housing farther south along the MAX route, according to Thomas.

“We have all these free development opportunities,” she said. “We hope that housing developers will see these opportunities.”

Students  living off campus are looking forward to having an easier way to commute to CSU and travel around Fort Collins.

As the ninth stop on the Max Transit route, the Drake station will be located near Colorado State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Animal Care Center. Photo courtesy of Max Bus Rapid Transit.

As the ninth stop on the Max Transit route, the Drake station will be located near Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Animal Care Center. Photo courtesy of Max Bus Rapid Transit.

“It would be perfect for transportation around here. I think it’s a good idea,” said Shawna Drewer, junior human dimensions and natural resources major.

With the MAX Transit route so close to campus, it’s a convenient ride for all students.

“I think it will present a lot more opportunity to live farther from campus,” said Amanda Guderjahn, junior business major. “I’ll probably use it a lot.”

Even on-campus students will experience the benefit. Freshman mathematics major Tristan Lee plans to live on campus again next year, and he said the MAX system will make it much easier to get around Fort Collins since he doesn’t drive a car.

“For going out with friends I think it would be a lot better because you could just walk across campus and take it,” Lee said.  “I’d really hate biking on College, so just being able to go right into Old Town would be nice.”

However, Lee would like to see MAX run later than its anticipated schedule.

“Lots of times when I go out with friends we end up going to a 24-hour place like IHOP,” he said. “So I guess for going out at night it wouldn’t really be the best thing.”

Visit for weekly construction updates and more information about the MAX service.

Tattoos in Fort Collins

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Mar 242013

Author: Nicole Beale

By the looks of things, Fort Collins is getting inked. There are over 10 tattoo shops in the immediate Fort Collins area and the number is continuing to grow. Some of these shops are booked with appointments for up to six months.  Many popular shops include Freakshow, La Familia, Covenant, Black Atlas, Tribal Rites, and the list goes on.

Lizz Wilson, Colorado State undergraduate student, says she wouldn’t recommend any other place but Freakshow Tattoo. She has three tattoos that were done at Freakshow, including a shoulder and two ankle tats. She has enjoyed her experience every time.

“Everyone in the shop is really excited to be there. It makes you feel good and excited to get a tattoo from there,” Wilson said. “Everyone was so professional and made me feel comfortable when I was uneasy.”

lizz's tats

Lizz Wilson’s tattoos from Freakshow Tattoo shop.
Photo by Lizz Wilson

According to Tribal Rites piercer, Hayley Berendt, Tribal Rites tries to make their store warm and inviting, something that is hard to do when it comes to the cold needle.  The store is splashed with a post-apocalyptic look. The tables are made of metal welded together with blue and green lights glowing through them. It gives the store an edgy feel and makes customers feel good when they come in.  Tribal Rites prides themselves on offering excellent customer service and making sure each customer leaves happy.

Tribal Rites resident tattoo artist Erick Erickson says that Tribal Rites is the place to be because so much love is put into what they do.

“Both of my parents were artists professionally. I grew up doing all kinds of art and it lead to me majoring in graphic design. Did that for a year before I realized I hated doing it. I then started tattooing and doing what I love,” said Erick Erickson. “I had a mentor I trained under for several years and have been tattooing for 12 years now.” Each tattoo artist at Tribal Rites has extensive experience and is able to conjure up whatever is imaginable.

Covenant Tattoo shop has been growing so much they had to relocate. Covenant relocated to a more central location in Fort Collins, along College Avenue, making the trip that much more convenient.

Many of these parlors cater to the student public and offer special deals and coupons on a seasonal basis. Many shops will put discounts in coupon books given out each semester. Keep an eye out for local deals if you’re looking to get tattooed in Fort Collins.

Mar 192013

Author: Mary Willson


Matt “P-Mann” Mahern and Lindsey O’brien of the Lindsey O’brien Band play at the SpokesBUZZ showcase. SpokesBUZZ put together the Colorado Music Party at SXSW in Austin, bringing together thousands of Colorado musicans and fans to support eachother at the festival.


The pattern of Fort Collins life is threaded with the staples of a classic Colorado experience: outdoor beauty, local beer, original bikes, and home-based bands.

With venues such as Aggie, Hodi’s Half Note, Avogadro’s Number, Surfside, Mishawaka, it is no


Alana Rolfe of Fierce Bad Rabbit plays at the SpokesBUZZ showcase in Austin at SXSW. Fierce Bad Rabbit played multiple showcases over the week, and are alumni of SpokesBUZZ.

surprise that Fort Collins supports hundreds of homegrown bands.   With the jamming beats of locality also comes the responsibility of a celebratory community; which in the 970, there is no shortage of.

April kicks off with FoCoMX, leading into a summer of Beet Street festivities, and closing out with Bohemian Nights. Being an artist or band in town looks pretty good.

Yet, one of the most supportive outlets for local bands is a non-profit, volunteer-run music support and education organization, SpokesBUZZ.

“SpokesBUZZ raises global awareness of Fort Collins sound and culture by bringing worldwide attention to local bands,” according to the official mission.

“It has really two parts to it. In the big picture, it’s really a promotion engine for Fort Collins. Our job is to get the word out beyond our backyard about the great music scene we have here in Fort Collins, and on the grassroots level, help educate music and bands to be better in business,” said organization member, Julie Sutter. Sutter deals with communication and publicity for SpokesBUZZ as well as runs her own communication company, Unconventional Ink. “One of the things that we try to foster is ‘ look how much you can do together.’”

Only on its fourth year, the organization has fostered positivity in dozens of bands, as each goes through a program, in about two years. The current class envelopes 11 bands. As a SpokesBUZZ band, monthly seminars take place to learn the ins-and-outs of business, marketing, and other valuable skills needed to create a long lasting, successful band.

“You go from being kind of a garage band, to being a band that has a platform to actually do something. To me, its kind of a ticket to somewhere,” said James Yearling, singer, electric guitarist, co-writer and management of the band Better Than Bacon, a current SpokesBUZZ band. “We want to be advocates to SpokesBUZZ. Part of the bands’ role is honestly to be an advocate for our community and to keep the reputation high, and so outside of all the fun, there is a level of responsibility that all the bands really enjoy.”

James Yearling jams on his electric guitar with his band Better Than Bacon at SXSW in Austin.

James Yearling jams on his electric guitar with his band Better Than Bacon at SXSW in Austin.

The music incubator is a collaborative effort that brings forward all aspects of the community, outside of just musicians. Fans feel invested to SpokesBUZZ because the shows, events, and bands represent something bigger than just the music.

Dani Grant started the organization, and she also runs the Mishawaka and Chippers Lanes. The organization is supported through volunteer driven leadership, communication, skills and forte, and funded by community initatives such as New Belgium and Crowd Funding.

“What makes Fort Collins unique is that everyone is very humble, which is really exceptional to see,” said Chris Anderson of Fierce Bad Rabbit, an alumni of SpokesBUZZ. “People do it because they like it. Everyone is very supportive, yet everyone’s doing their own thing.”

As the bands headed off to South By South West (SXSW) in the middle of March, they are making their fifth journey into a mega-music sea, to promote the locality of Fort Collins. The beginnings of the organizations stem from SXSW, a mega festival, of over 128,000 attendees, according to

“One of the things that we’ve discovered by going to Austin, it kind of feels like you’re a little fish in a big pond, but we’ve been able to bring so much of the community, beyond the music,” Sutter said. “What’s different about this year, we’ve actually made really great connections with the Denver community. It’s overwhelming, so you look for this connection, so the Colorado people gravitate to each other.”

This year, over a thousand Colorado-affiliated, music-passioned people are teaming up with SpokesBUZZ to celebrate Colorado music together through an official Colorado Music Party collaboration at SXSW, showing the progression from its first year of Fort Collins jamming out in Austin.

“At SXSW, it is just positive exposure for Fort Collins. I think a lot of people don’t realize what an amazing music base we have here,” said Nick Duarte, vocals and guitarists for Post Paradise. “It is really a team effort and everyone is working for the same goal, and they take it to Austin and say ‘hey look world, this is us.’”

The year ahead is fresh with SXSW SpokesBUZZ showcase behind, and a whole new journey to learn, explore and grow on. A new season for SpokesBUZZ is ahead, as a new class of bands is soon to join the team.

SpokesBUZZ puts on collaborative concerts, as well as supports the band’s and artist’s individual performances, so when the chance arises to check out a local band involved with this organization, a  larger picture is supported: the pattern that makes Fort Collins unique.

The threads of Fort Collins music are growing rapidly, and it is the responsibility of the community to keep this exciting pattern unfolding.

“Fort Collins does have a story to tell,” Sutter said. “When people hear ‘Colorado’, they may not think about Fort Collins, but that is changing.”

For more info on SpokesBUZZ, head over to


Australia’s calling, Graduates travel down under

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Feb 262013

Author: Cassandra Whelihan


Meagan Cassily prepares her backback to travel. Backpacking across a foreign country is a popular way for graduates to travel. Photo by Cassandra Welihan.

Your toes are playing peek-a-boo through the crystal white sand transparent against the blue sea. The warm breeze kisses your skin delicately as the sun sinks further into the sky. A palette of colors streak and blend in a mosaic as if created by the gods… heaven? Not quite, this describes Australia.

“Australia has a very good economy right now and you can go and make a lot of money working in the seasonal tourism position, hotels or any seasonal position like we have here in Colorado,” said Dustin Kovac, a senior biology major. “They also have a harvest season where they’re looking for work and they pay the clients per hour plus overtime.”

Planning to travel for half a year, Kovac and his girlfriend Maeve McGranahan have begun planning the ins-and-outs of their expedition.

“The plane ticket is going to be the main cost so it kind of depends on what’s up with that,” said McGranahan, a junior HDFS and philosophy double major. “Hopefully we can find somewhere to make some money after that to kind of compensate. But I’m kind of planning on tailoring the trip to how much money is available.”

Saving $20 a week, the couple estimates the plane tickets to cost between $2,000 to $3,000. Upon arrival in Australia, they plan to make money along the way and plan some adventures during their off time.

“We would probably be housed where we were working and then we would be on the road when we were traveling,” Kovac said. “I think ideally we would spend some time backpacking in New Zealand and island-hopping in Fiji.”

Kovac and McGranahan have some friends that are in Australia so they have being asking them for more information. In addition, the internet is a good resource for planning a post graduate odyssey.


Admiring the scenery, Cassily contemplates what a similar view would be in Australia or Guatemala. Photo by Cassandra Welihan.

Sites such as and are informative, affordable and safe. These resources offer online listings of farms, ranches, hostels and home-stays that invite volunteer helpers to stay short term for food and room in exchange for a few hours of help per day.

The reasons for traveling are bountiful. Responsibilities are minimal and cultures are waiting to be discovered.

“I was planning on studying abroad, but then it just seems like it made more sense to travel if I had somebody to travel with,” McGranahan said. “I wouldn’t have to be worried about being kidnapped as much and I wouldn’t have to do school while I was traveling.”

According to Kovac, “It’s just a place I’ve always wanted to go. It’s ideally a good spot to go right now because the economy is doing so well, it wouldn’t be hard to find work.”

Tricks to travel cheap

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Feb 252013

Author: Nicole Beale

Anyone that has ever traveled knows about the hassle and expense that traveling comes with. Being a college student doesn’t lend much room to hidden expenses and overcharging. However, there are some tricks that can help you avoid some unnecessary charges and get things at a cheaper price.

Colorado State University is home to a significant number of out-of-state students. Experienced traveler and out-of-state student Natasha Kersten is from McLean, Virginia.

“Flights are really expensive especially from the East Coast. I like to travel on Wednesdays because it is the cheapest day to fly,” Kersten said. “Picking what day you travel changes the price of the flight dramatically. Flights on weekends and Mondays are not only more expensive but the airports are generally much more crowded.”

“Flight prices fluctuate, so don’t book your fights right away. Make sure you are getting the cheapest price,” said Charlie Mitchell, an out-of-state student from Texas.

If you know what day you would like to fly out, check multiple websites and price watch. You could check one week and the next it could be $100 less. It is worth it to wait. If you are flexible on what day you want to leave, make sure you check out Southwest Airlines’ ‘wanna get away deals.’ They are cheap flights for people who decide to travel last minute, according to Mitchell.

Another way to get a cheap flight would be to check a site that compares multiple airlines, such as Orbitz or Priceline. When comparing airlines, you can see what airlines are offering the cheapest flights. You can also check if they charge extra for bagging or have specific seating.

The cost of flying is continuing to rise and they seem to keep adding on charges, according to Even bringing an extra bag can cost you a pretty penny. You can look to alternatives, such as driving. However, driving has its pros and cons as well.

When driving, you must worry about any sort of car troubles and fluctuating gas prices. In the United States right now, gas prices range from three to five dollars. will tell you the gas price you will pay in any area of the United States. It is a great resource to help you plan out any road trip.

Traveling will always be expensive, however, there are ways to make it cheaper so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Students reveal bad travel experiences

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Feb 202013

Author: Michaela Koretko

“I’m from Mexico, and one time, on the way back from Mexico they thought my mom wasn’t my mom and that she was sneaking me into the country. We got isolated, and they held us for a while. It was scary. It’s really funny when I think about it now.”

-Julia Miranda, Freshman

“In Japan, we had just been to a restaurant and were posing for a picture.  I half back-flipped over my friend’s great-aunt who didn’t know any English. I was so embarrassed that even though I knew the word for ‘sorry’ all I could say was ‘Sorry, sorry, sorry!'”

-Kristin Long, Senior

“My family chartered a boat in the Bahamas, and there were squid everywhere. They were flopping and jumping all over. One was on the boat, so I picked it up. It inked all over me. Yeah. Don’t pick up squid.”

-Liesel Schiffhauer, Sophomore