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Ready, set, go ... to college 

I spent the first nine days of college at Penrose Hospital with a kidney infection. My first "class" was a bed-bound immersion in Breaking Bad, aided and intensified by a steady dose of narcotics.

Frankly, I was hoping college would be a bit more difficult. And it was: I got back to the Colorado College campus and was put into a race and ethnic studies course with juniors and seniors. Quietly, I assumed a deer-in-headlights stance.

In putting together this year's College Issue for the Indy, I reflected on those initial freshman anxieties. It's hard to decide what's more overwhelming: choosing what to study now, or choosing where you're going with a degree in philosophical literature. Why not just ditch the liberal arts and become an engineering major? Where the heck are you going after college, anyway? You're in Colorado now — should you just become a rock-climbing, Prana-wearing, weed-smoking pseudo-hippie?

The solution here is balance — making tiny adjustments to our daily lives (yes, Mom, such as exercise and good nutrition) to enable hard work, clear thinking and good memories.

So in our guide, we'll share some practical advice: where to find some game-changing places to work out, and also the best breakfast sandwich $5 can buy. We'll also bring you thoughts on prioritizing mental health.

Turning to academics, fellow Indy intern Griffin Swartzell writes about writing — and why a degree in STEM might not be all you need to succeed. And students and alumni talk about life after college, including the idea of sticking around the Springs.

As a CC student and Air Force cadet discover in their conversation here, thousands of us locally are on a similar journey — we just haven't broken out of our individual college bubbles to talk about it. Yet.

— Hannah Fleming

  • Welcome to the Independent's College Guide.

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