As many as 67% of Pios are not Colorado natives, and even fewer are from the Denver area. One of the biggest challenges an incoming student may face their first year is learning the new city around them. The move away from home can be quite shocking, especially for students from smaller cities or towns.
Luckily, Pios receive an RTD pass at no extra cost that allows them to use the public transit system for free. This pass proves to be helpful when adjusting to Denver. With reliable and rapid public transit, an app that tracks all buses and light rails and a station right next to campus, incoming students can explore Denver easily. Go to a show at DCPA, treat a friend to a birthday lunch on 16th Street or go to Union Station to study. After traveling and familiarizing oneself with the big city, returning to the DU station helps make DU feeling more like home.
On a smaller scale, sometimes all it takes to adjust to the new city is to find similarities to home. Students may find a religious service to attend off campus with a friend or volunteer at an organization similar to before. Since DU is in a residential area, there are many restaurants to enjoy, parks to get in some exercise, places of worship to attend and public schools at which to volunteer and learn more about the University neighborhood.
Another way to feel more comfortable around the direct University neighborhood is to go grocery shopping. Even though Safeway is right down Evans and can hardly be considered leaving campus, it is an easy reminder that there is life outside of the college bubble and a good way to see people other than professors and peers.
Finally, make friends with a native from the Denver Metro Area. They likely will be a valuable resource—suggestions and helpful tips galore.
So, make time to discover all of the fun parts of the Mile High City, and make it a place that excites you. Enjoy student discounts wherever you go. And if you are itching to be back home, RTD extends as far as Denver International Airport.
Get out there.