Daniel Barnes

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PRIDDY Trip, Orientation, and beginning of classes

I moved into college on August 19, 2017. Shortly thereafter, our whole class attended orientation sessions which went over general expectations related to the honor code, information about sexual assault and Title IX, and other safety issues.

Our entire freshman class was then shipped off to different parts of the country for a service trip, called a PRIDDY trip. Many of us spent the weekend camping, hiking, and exploring the outdoors-- and while on these trips, we all completed a service project. I went to an Easter Seals camp in Empire, CO where we helped with some "housekeeping"-- cleaning up trash, moving equipment, and doing fire mitigation work. We were given the chance to connect with mentors on the trip-- older students who were leading the trip encouraged discussion about concerns toward starting college.

We returned back to the campus on Sunday, and immediately dove into our first classes on Monday.

For those of you who are not aware, Colorado College has an interesting system for classes that they use, called the "block plan". Instead of taking multiple classes at the same time throughout a semester or quarter, Colorado College allows you to take only one class at a time-- a three-and-a-half week intensive course, covering a semester's worth of material.

Every year in high school, there's a College & Career seminar where graduates visit the school and talk about college in a Q&A format. Every year, somebody asks the question, "did attending Basalt High School prepare you adequately for college?" And every year, the overwhelming response from the new college students is, "no". This is what I'm pondering as I begin my first couple days here. I haven't been having trouble with the work, and though it's drastically different from what I did in high school, I can appreciate the school's effort to foreshadow this while not hitting us with it full-on.

Here in college, I've spent about 4 hours a day in the library doing homework. However, it's not like I've never studied before-- I just haven't studied with this much depth in a single topic before. I was caught off guard, but I still landed on my feet, and the workload is manageable. Whether high school prepared me for this or not, I'm not sure yet. But I appreciate that high school was less intense than college (and probably for good reason, too).

My first class is Creativity and Logic, taught by a musicology professor and an economics professor. That, in itself, embodies Colorado College's idea of liberal arts-- this interdisciplinary kind of studying isn't common in other college, and it's a very deep contrast from any kind of classwork I've done before. The idea of the class is to develop "critical inquiry", and give us the tools necessary to be more successful and provocative in future classes. It's been a lot of fun so far, and I'll update more about the class after a few more days of experiencing it.

So far, I'm really enjoying it here. Moving into college has been a smoother transition than I was expecting, and I'm excited to be here and see what kinds of activities I can get into.

By Daniel, on August 31, 2017, 10:08 pm