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Old 12-14-2014   #1
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 34

I am currently a Junior in High School and am starting to look at colleges. Really don't know what I want to go into right now, but I am leaning towards something in Chem or Bio. I am a huge skier and kayaker/rafter and want to continue doing that, but I also want to go to a school that has a great education. Don't really want to go out of state (Colorado), but I could be talked into a place in Oregon or Washington.

For some questions that I have are:
What are some colleges you would recommend looking into?
What are the colleges you went to and how did you like it?
Do I want to go to a school with a great education and give up my lifestyle for four years or do I want to continue my life style and go to not as good of a college?
What colleges have a good skiing and kayaking community?
Any advise you would give me?

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Old 12-14-2014   #2
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 524
Well, since you're in Golden, Mines... You'll get good opportunities at both CU & CSU if you want to stay front range. Western State & Mesa would treat you right as well. CO Mountain College might not have the robust science you're looking for. Ft. Lewis would be good, but might as well be out of state at that point.

My $.02: You can play when you're NOT in school. Gap years, semesters off, after graduation, whatever. It took me quite a few years to dig myself out of the hole my undergrad GPA put me in. I could have spent just as many years raft guiding and ski instructing and not had to double up that time with re-taking courses just so I could get accepted into my grad programs.

Okay, my $.04: Don't go out of state unless your parents are willing to foot the bill, and even then think about in-state and having them give you a down payment on a house. UO, OSU, UW, WSU, and a plethora of other schools in the PacNW have great recreation nearby, but as someone who is just barely getting close to paying off my student loans, a low-priced, high-value education is the same as a huge pay raise immediately on signing the contract for your first "real" job.

My CV: BA English at Michigan & 4-year rower, MS human physiology at Oregon with a lot better GPA, MD at CU. Worked at UW in Seattle for a couple years as well. And my Utah raft guide license is still current.

Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2014   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
Good advice from If you're going to be in school, hit it hard and apply yourself at it, manage your time well, keep up with your work, and you'll be able to play "enough" and still get good grades, learn lots, and get into a good grad program if that's what you want. Doing school half ass will have a lot more lasting impact than missing out on some fun and committing fully to school while you're there.

You can get a great education at Mines and you can also be a slacker and do just enough to get by just like anywhere. If you are thirsty for it, you can get a great education just about anywhere if you really want it enough and aren't afraid to go talk to and work with those old guys called professors.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 12-14-2014   #4
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,932
Stay in state your first 2 years and work mostly towards your GEs for an associates degree. If during that time you find exactly what you want to major in and are motivated and disciplined....Great, plow forward. If not, you have an Associates and can take a gap year or two if you are largely motivated by recreational pursuits. With an associates you can transfer to most universities and focus on your major requirements. Some colleges actually reward transfer students with scholarships if they have some non-academic life experience.

Many students change majors a few times so focusing on Gen Eds is a good way to get required credit and explore options in the relevant departments; most degrees require the intro classes that often count as GEs anyways. Chemistry and Biology are rather intensive degree fields to invest in so getting your feet wet early is a way to explore your commitment and interest.

If you do take gap years realize you will likely be paying for education on your own, unless you have extremely lenient parents. But some people need that time (I needed 8 years) before they are ready to commit to a degree and its growing costs. On the other hand, if you are motivated and committed getting a degree sooner than later pays off in economic dividends (like hundred or hundreds of thousands more lifetime earning potential). All depends are where you are in life personally.

I dropped out my first go round after my scholarships expired. While it was emotionally right for myself if I had paid more attention and just gotten my Associates I could have saved myself $20k+ when I went back to get a degree in my mid-twenties. I only needed a handful more credits to get there but I didn't. Live and learn.

Best of luck and good on you for appraising yourself and options.

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Old 12-14-2014   #5
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 332
Mesa, wasted st, ft liquor. It's all about balance. You will miss some long trips but day trips close to home will rep your head in the game. Do at you c to capitalize on your breaks.
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Old 12-15-2014   #6
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 68
Mines has an awesome kayak club that I've been lucky enough to be apart of for the last 4.5 years. Also, plenty of kids who ski all the time. I don't feel like I had to give up much "lifestyle" at mines. Definitely focused my free time towards boating and skiing and tried to not waste time just partying (not that party is a waste of time!). The school definitely isn't for everyone though. PM me if you want
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Old 12-15-2014   #7
GAtoCSU's Avatar
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 696
CSU if you're going into the science fields. Go to the best, most affordable college that you can get into, which if you're in Colorado will be CSU. Are you interested in medicine or research? Don't plan on staying with a BS in those fields if you want to be able to afford anything good.

BS Cell bio UGA
MS Cell and molecular bio CSU

Lots of schooling
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Old 12-15-2014   #8
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
I would say get your associates through CMC and then go to Mines, Ft Lewis or CSU. I got my associate of science through CMC and it was much cheaper than going straight to a University...
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 12-15-2014   #9
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Don't go to college. If I had taken my college fund and bought gold I'd be a rich man today...
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Old 12-15-2014   #10
Montrose, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 128
Some great advice on here.
Consider Ft. Lewis for the first two years to get your generals out of the way and do so at a less expensive rate. All credits will then transfer to CSU to complete your major. I know many who took that approach and saved many thousands. Also, Durango is a great outdoors town for helping to keep your "feet wet" in boating.

Mines is a fantastic school, but not for everyone. Think of what your academic aptitude and goals are.

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