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CSU Students ‘Find Their State’ in Various Ways

Year 2 at CSU students walk down the oval

College is a time for students to find themselves and be exposed to many different things throughout their next four years. But, many students find themselves experiencing loneliness, confusion and trying to find their niche in a pool of over 25,000 people.

A study conducted by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that one-third of college students will transfer schools and about half of those students will transfer for a second.

Colorado State University’s student interests can range from the agricultural fields to the modern design and business commerce spectrum. However, CSU, or any college is not always a perfect fit for all students.

For some students, pledging a Greek life chapter helps pledges meet people with similar interests. Although this is not a success for all.

CSU sophomore Iliana Ingamells is an active member in the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha. Ingamells is majoring in geology at CSU.

“I watched movies about being in a sorority and it looked fun with the parties and meeting people,” Ingamells said. “But now that I am in it, it’s very different.”

Every sorority is different depending on which you college attend. “Some of the girls are very open to meeting new people, others are not and don’t like new members,” Ingamells said.

Looking at how Greek letters serves as one’s identity, Ingamells said, “For me, it’s not who I am. I’ve seen other members let it become who they are. It’s hard to do anything outside your sorority.”

Students involved in Greek life organizations often spend time around other members and find it difficult to break away from the group identity of the chapter. 

“To get a real perspective of the whole chapter you’d have to meet every member,” Ingamells. “But it’s easy to assume someone is a certain way because of their chapter.”

High expectations for weekend activities forces students to join social engagements for the sake of appearing sociable. The party and social life expectations of a college student are high when it comes to weekend activities. Students are searching for party addresses or worry they will not have plans for the weekend.

CSU students who grew up around Fort Collins often find themselves in a difficult position balancing who they were in high school and the friends they grew close with against who they have grown to be in college.

Sophomore Emily Boyington has lived in Fort Collins since she was 11 years old and said she has noticed changes in herself and Fort Collins during her college experience.

After her first semester, Boyington said she realized how many things Fort Collins has to offer and how diverse the college experience is.

“I have realized this campus is so large with so many people it feels like its own town,” Boyington said.

Growing up in the same town where you go to college can give you the opportunity to stay connected to some of your high school friends while also branching out to connect with new ones.

“I think about a friend of mine growing up and how we’ve grown into different people,” Boyington said. “I wanted to meet new friends and not be in a clique and she’s focusing on one group. That’s something I wanted to avoid doing because there are so many people to meet.”

College is a time for students to find what they’re passionate about and the friends in their lives. But for many, this process is trickier than anticipated. The first semester or year may not be a perfect match, but students eventually find their state through time.

Arlee Walls

Arlee Walls was the executive editor for College Avenue magazine from Jan. 2020 to May 2021. She was an undergraduate student at CSU majoring in journalism and media communications and minoring in information science and technology. Arlee was a part of student media for two years.