The Other Colorado

The Other Colorado

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Colorado. Known for the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the famous ‘Mile High City’, and of course, recreational marijuana. A culture composed of Bronco’s games and supporting the Rockies baseball team. Although we aren’t all home-state fans, we can all agree on the amount of respect shown throughout our gorgeous state. The place where skiing, camping and hiking is a frequent vacation pinpoint. To outsiders, this is all that Colorado has to offer. However, I am from a part of Colorado that only few can attest from; I am from the "Other Colorado."

I am from the flattest grounds of Colorado, where the faintest silhouette of the mountains can be seen. I live where livestock outnumbers the population of the people, where the air is not constricted by pollution or smog, but is dense, smooth, and clean. At night, a slight glow from cities more than two hours away can be seen. Where the stars seem so bright, crisp, and clear, as if you were in a movie.

I am from communities that come together as a family; where you can drive an hour and still have a handful of friends to rely on. Where sports not only bring the area together but can separate them in a heartbeat. They say it takes a tribe to raise a child; in this part of Colorado, this statement is a lifestyle. When bad comes to worse, our communities bind together to get the family the help they need. I am from the area that car pools hours just to get to a Walmart or mall. Where a trip to Denver is almost like a thrill when growing up.

I am from a collection of towns with a population 1,000 or less. Where you get the news faster at the local gas station gossip than you do from the area news release. Where your class was more like your family than your classmates. Where knowing the exact color, make, and model of all your friend’s cars is normal. I am from the area of Colorado that still recites the Pledge in school, and before large events, where ‘under God’ is not a question, but a must.

I am from tumble weeds, dirt roads, and country music. Where fun is categorized as summer cattle branding, cruising up and down Main Street, or late night Walmart trips. I am from hard work and dedication; brought up by the strings of my mother’s apron. Where ‘yes ma’am' and 'yes sir’ is still common.

I am from the part of Colorado that is desolate and open. Where a small amount of excitement is felt when we see our town or county on the weather map. I am from a place where tornadoes and winds are strong enough to take roofs and homes. Where our eyes are trained to see deer and antelope in the tallest of brush.

I am from ‘the other Colorado’. The Colorado not portrayed on postcards or shown through magazines. The parts of Colorado that, surprisingly, are still unknown to many Colorado-natives. The area of Colorado that has to associate to larger cities just to get an idea of where we actually are; where we use hours and miles as descriptions, instead of the legitimate name of our city.

Colorado. A mixing bowl of traits. Where the weather is nearly uncertain that we could have snow on Monday, and a tornado on Tuesday. A saying all Coloradans can relate to is “if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour and it will change.” In general, Colorado is a beautiful state filled with unique and incredible people. Diverse and welcoming, Colorado will always be my state, but I will always identify as 'the other Colorado’.
Cover Image Credit: Ty Lin Williams

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

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One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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It's Been A Year And I Still Miss It

The memories with my teammates and coaches are remembered everyday.

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Never thought I'd say it but here I am. I am happy to say I am proud to be where I am today but the thoughts of never playing a sport again linger in my mind. Those emotions of anticipation and excitement when it comes to playing a sport are long gone. Sad to say I will never have butterflies before running a race, floor burns all over my knees and sweat mixed with softball dirt all over me.

The little aspects that I took for granted are what I remember the most. I am who I am today because of my coaches and teammates. Each and every sport came with a support system to fall back on and friendships that would last a lifetime. My coaches and teammates taught me life long skills that I will carry with me forever. They taught me the true meaning of dedication, teamwork, perseverance and respect. Yes, I love the game but the connections and memories I have built have impacted me. Especially, the times I have created with my teammates and coaches on the bus rides, practices and game days.

Those are the moments I will never get back. I will never forget the times my volleyball teammates and I would run over to Perkins after a win. We would eat junkie, greasy food till our tummies were full but during those moments we were all owning the moment while being young and careless. Even during track season my teammates and I found time to have fun while running rigorous workouts. I will never forget the mid-dance parties during track meets to keep our mind off of the stress of performing to our best ability. Softball season always seemed to be on the road, which meant plenty of bus rides with my teammates. Those hours of traveling were the best from the never have I ever games to singing along to great hits.

I will never get the chance again to compete in front of a crowd. The cheers and the roars of the fans is such a surreal feeling. Running on the blue oval was something I will never forget. As much as I hated the queasy, uneasy feelings before running, I would go back for it one more time. Stepping foot on the blue oval meant a great athlete once took those same steps I did. The moment my teammates, coaches and I clinched the win to go to State for the first time in school history was unbelievable. It was an accomplishment for us seniors, for our coaches, for our families and fans, for our school and for the past softball players. We did something that was never done before in school history and all I can say is I'm proud to have done it with the group of girls that I did.

Getting to state and playing with the best of the best is remarkable but what seemed to be even better was getting a victory against a city rival. Everyone came out for those games from grandparents to students to alumni. Our best performances were amongst us when competing against city rivals. Particularly, through volleyball, my teammates and I seemed to be hungrier for a win whenever it was a city rival. I guess, the best moments happened when we beat a cross-town rival. You could say we got bragging rights for the year.

To all the athletes out there competing in their last game, last match or last race, relish in those last seconds because before you know it you will never pick up a ball again, race in a relay or dance after a victory.

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