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As a student who has just completed the first semester of her junior year at CU Boulder, I have been reflecting on my time at the university and what to make of it. During the school year, life is so turbulent and busy that it is difficult to truly consider the realities of being a student. As an English major at CU Boulder, this semester has been an interesting one.

As a campus, I find that CU Boulder does attempt to be an inclusive and bonded one. As a woman and as a member of the LGBTQ+ (LGBTQIA) community, I can honestly say that I have not felt any negative pressure from my peers or my professors. Although discrimination is strictly prohibited against at CU Boulder, those at the university seem to make a decided effort to make all of us feel as though we belong. This is an environment which makes me as a student feel safe and welcomed. I have never considered myself to be threatened or the subject of prejudice at the college; this is special and not something to be ignored. Despite this, there are a variety of clubs and organizations which means that no student must feel as though they cannot find their community or their people at the university. Many who have already gone through college will say that perhaps the best thing about being at university is not the classes you take or the things your professor will tell you. It is instead the connections you make and the experiences you have.

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However, the community at CU Boulder is not the only aspect of being a student at the university. What of the classes? While I can only speak to the courses offered for the English major, I certainly have some thoughts about them. While the English program at CU Boulder is considering making changes to its overall structure, I will not bear the fruit of these changes. I believe that the most significant issue with the English major is a lack of practical application. So many of my required classes have involved a romantic approach to learning how to advance my writing technique instead of teaching me the realities of how to apply my writing skills to the real world. No matter how my writing improves, I find it frustrating that this improvement is the only concern of the college. Not only this, but grammar classes are not currently required. Despite the expectation that students should be thoroughly well-versed in the grammatical intricacies of English, many of these rules were taught in grade or middle school. For the majority of us, it has been at least a decade since we learned anything about grammar. While our prose and ability to advance plot and character development might be perfected, what use is any of it without understanding the basics of English? Overall, what the English major needs is a practical revamping. It needs to be edited to fit the needs of a modern student.

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Perhaps the best aspect of being a college student at CU Boulder is the city which surrounds the university. Boulder may be ridiculously expensive, but it is a fantastic college town. A student will never want for things to do or activities to participate in. Speaking from the perspective of a vegetarian on a budget, one of the things I love about Boulder is how many suitable restaurants there are to choose from. I never feel isolated from living because I am a student. The town I come from in Missouri severely lacks in things to do. But in Boulder, a student does not need to feel the dullness that I knew in Missouri. Not only is Boulder an impressively active college town, but it is also quite beautiful. In summer, the overused sprinklers make the city bright with exquisitely green grass. In autumn, the trees change into vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red. In winter, fluffy white snow blankets the city like clouds. In spring, the flowers bloom and spread across the city. Despite the problems of the university, no one can deny what a beautiful campus it is.

Within a month, I will be back at CU Boulder to begin another semester. The upcoming semester will bring a whole new set of adventures, mistakes, and stress. It will also mean a whole new series of memories and experiences. Despite the troubles and problems that come along with being a student at CU Boulder, there are lovely things about it. No matter what, as students at CU Boulder, we are all paying a handsome price to go to college here. Not just in money, but in our time as well; this cannot be denied. We are paying a great deal to be at CU Boulder, and we might as well make the most of it.

Taylor Denton is a movie-loving, vegetarian, nerdy student living in Boulder, currently working to complete a degree in English. She was born on March 22nd, 1998, in Springfield, Missouri. She began writing short stories when she was in middle-school, publishing her first poem in a book created by her school. In high school, her love for creative writing expanded and came to life. She has continued to write, which has become her passion in life. She now writes in college from the perspective of a student, working as often as she can to keep her voice active and evolving while she continues to purse her enthusiasm for writing.