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Out-of-State Student Perspectives

Welcome to Colorado sign

For anyone who hasn’t traveled to the mile-high state before, Colorado can be an interesting place. Known for its excessive elevation, weather tantrums, legal use of marijuana, and scenic outings, our crazy state’s popularity is on the rise. Students at CSU attending from out of state say Colorado is a sunny, scenic, and limitless place.

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Nicole Ethell is a health and exercise science major from California. Photo credit: Brooke Buchan

Freshman health and exercise science major and transfer student, Nicole Ethell is from Camarillo, California. “I have no family out here, but I’ve always had an urge to come to Colorado,” she says.

Sophomore mechanical engineering major Zach Lustig originally from Welches, Oregon, says, “I wanted to get out of state and to adventure, and it has been a dream to come here.”

With an average elevation of 6,800 feet above sea level (the highest average in America), Colorado’s altitude requires a little adjusting to for those who’ve come from lower elevations.

Sophomore music therapy major Sarah Souders from Anchorage, Alaska, says, “Adjusting to the altitude was a little rough. I’d get out of breath when I went to some places, but I’m used to it now.”

Zach Lustig from Welches, Oregon is studying Mechanical Engineering. Photo credit: Brooke Buchan
Zach Lustig from Welches, Oregon is a sophomore mechanical engineering major. Photo credit: Brooke Buchan

Also one of the top ten driest states in the nation, Colorado’s lack of moisture in the air has out-of-state students’ interest.

“California is at sea-level, the dryness here is not too bad, but I’ve noticed it,” Ethell says.

Along with its high and dry climate, Colorado poses a number of weather tantrums throughout the seasons, most commonly occurring in the fall, where it can range from 30 degrees in the morning to 80 degrees by late afternoon.

“The weather is very variable, you definitely have to wear layers, and I’m not used to that,” says Souders.

In Oregon, Lustig says it rains consistently and hardly ever snows at the lower elevations. “It’s way sunnier here than I thought, but it hasn’t hit winter yet; that’s where I feel like it’s going to be a lot different,” he says.

These new residents communicate about Colorado’s variances and what they miss from their home states.

“I miss the freedom to go to the beach, I love watching the waves,” Ethell says.

“I miss the rain, to be honest,” Lustig says.

Souders says, “I miss the weather; it’s colder in my state right now, and very warm here.”

Sarah Souder is a Music Therapy major from Alaska. Photo credit: Brooke Buchan
Sarah Souders is a sophomore music therapy major from Alaska. Photo credit: Brooke Buchan

Though these students may miss their homes, Colorado has made some lasting impressions on them.

“My favorite thing so far has been the aspen trees, hands down,” Lustig says.

“My favorite thing has been the people and their lifestyles. Everyone does their own thing, and it’s almost like a slower pace. Everyone is friendly and has been there for help if I need it,” Ethell says.

“I think my favorite thing is probably that there is so much to do here and so many cool adventures going on,” Sounders says.

These students are among many at CSU who are from out-of-state. While us natives know Colorado like the back of our hand, these out-of-staters get to experience the beauty and quirks of the state for the very first time.