The crappy things about being a CSU student

Keegan Williams
Keegan Williams

It’s undeniable that Fort Collins is a great place to live.

It’s just big enough to feel hip and happening but just small enough to feel quirky and unique. Did I mention the multitude of local restaurants, craft breweries and community-based events?

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Living in a city like Fort Collins makes Colorado State University a great place to attend college. While I’m definitely proud to be a CSU Ram, I’m not going to deny that, sometimes, it sucks.

Sure, some things are just dumb college side notes, not exclusive to CSU.

I am incredibly fortunate to be attending CSU, but let’s be real – we wouldn’t occasionally use “I’m in college” as a sort of sad excuse to others if everything was always easy.

Let’s start out with one of the basics:  your professor is not always going to be the one looking at your work. I remember being so annoyed that instead of talking to my professor in a large 100 level class, I was constantly talking to one of four or five TA’s, who seemed unnecessarily sassy on a daily basis.

It doesn’t even have to be a full class with 300 people. Even an intimate class could have a TA helping out, and it’s never a guarantee that the person teaching you will be the one grading your work.

Sometimes, your professor might just be a weird pseudo-celebrity in your world, a speaker in front of a large, paying audience. It’s weird, but just know that they may have nothing to do with your grade by the end of the semester.

The majority of problems with CSU occur outside of the classroom. I had to learn fast that on the CSU campus there are usually people who want to communicate a message. It might be someone who wants to ask you a question (that’s code for “I don’t care that you’re going to class, let’s talk religion!”), a volunteer for a political cause looking for donations or a pro-life group displaying large pictures of aborted fetuses in the plaza for two full days.

By all means, if talking (or maybe arguing) with strangers is your thing, embrace this campus quirk. If not, ignore it and walk to class.

Sometimes, just navigating campus safely is more pertinent than avoiding a long conversation. One of the most ridiculous things about CSU is the way the University handles snow and winter weather.

I remember living in my small, basement apartment by myself during the tail-end of spring semester, 2013. I was enjoying the morning indoors, watching “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” on my day of exclusively afternoon classes.

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The roads and sidewalks were icy, campus was packed with snow and it was freezing. The night before, every student eagerly thought CSU would be closing. Most students would agree with me, but the CSU campus will not close. Even when you’re sure it’s going to happen, it won’t.

Weirdly enough, CSU decided to close midday, forcing every single student on campus to leave at the same time. That day, I felt so fortunate to be warm, inside my apartment, not waiting in line for an hour to get out of a parking lot.

Not that there needs to be snow in Fort Collins for a CSU parking lot to be frustrating. Parking at CSU is usually a nightmare (and you get to pay over $300 on a parking pass to find that out).

If you are driving to campus, it’s fair to assume that it could take anywhere between five and 15 minutes to find a parking spot before class. It can become normative to drive up and down the same rows in the same parking lot, hoping that someone left so you can park and endure class.

Short answer: don’t drive to campus if you can help it. You’ll end up waiting forever to find a spot, just to discover that the wifi isn’t connecting on campus 10 minutes later.

Really, I love going to school at CSU. Small pleasures like watching campus change with each distinct Colorado season and enjoying our sense of community and social acceptance as a University make me feel so fortunate as a college student.

Then again, sometimes being a CSU student is just kind of crappy.

Collegian Features and Entertainment Editor Keegan Williams is happy that he is nearly done with this collegiate silliness. He can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

Pick up the CSU Move-In Guide on stands now!