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Going off campus every weekend could help you make friends and get to know Denver!

I came to Colorado from California and I knew next to nothing about Denver. This was intimidating to think about but I also realized it was an opportunity to explore a new and exciting place.

In my Freshman Seminar class I had to leave campus every weekend to take pictures for my projects. This meant I got to know the light rail system and explore Denver in a way I wouldn’t have if I had stayed on campus. My friends and I loved taking the light rail to 16th street or the Santa Fe Art District to take great pictures and have tons of fun. Even though I’m not in that class anymore, I still take the light rail downtown almost every weekend just to see what new places I can find!

Through my experience, getting off campus every weekend not only go me connected and familiar with Denver, it helped me branch out with activities and friends to explore with.

My advice to first-year students, especially ones coming from out of state, is to try to find something to do every weekend off campus. Whether you are going downtown, hiking, skiing, or trying a new restaurant every week, you are guaranteed to feel more connected to the city and Colorado. If you can find something to get excited about around Denver then you are sure to have a fun and exciting first year at DU!

In my opinion, one of the best ways to explore Denver is by public transportation because you have the ability to get off and explore on your way to your destination. When you drive your car everywhere, you don’t get to window shop or take shortcuts that lead you to places you hadn’t planned on seeing. The light rail offers a free ride to places you had no idea you wanted to find but will be glad you did! In my opinion, the best places to take the light rail to are 16th Street (take the F or H line) and Union Station (take the E line); there is no need to pay for parking and the light rail drops you off right in the middle of downtown. You should take advantage of your free student RTD passes because they are an awesome resource to have!

So go out and explore because that’s what college is all about!

Read more about why people love Denver so much in this post, “Life in Denver at its Finest“.