As the school year comes to a close, seniors say goodbye, flowers start to bloom, and your redneck relatives once again question what the hell a liberal arts degree from Colorado College even is. You calmly explain that CC is an elite institution, with a unique block plan, and let’s not forget that we are ranked No. 1 in innovation. Yet, none of this truly explains the academic and life lessons learned in this odd little bubble. So, what do four years of Colorado College really sum up to?

First of all, let’s just say it: Colorado College is, in fact, a weird place. The highest concentration of the one-percent socioeconomic class of any school, with granola-chic fashion, all functioning under the schedule of the Block Plan, has made this one of the most peculiar institutions in the country. As it was once explained to me, “CC is the only place where you’ll meet someone that does not own shoes but owns four pairs of skis.” Also, what the hell is the Block Plan? I have now taken 32 blocks and I am still not entirely sure how to accurately describe it. How do you explain something that is substantially easier but also simultaneously much more difficult than an average college schedule?

Well, as we have seen from the last paragraph, CC has definitely taught me how to be cynical. These past four years have also taught me to be critical and articulate when formulating an opinion. Did I get into an argument with a random man in a bar about the Rwandan genocide? I sure did! Why you might ask? If I have learned anything from CC, it is that anything can be argued and questioned, even if it’s objectively correct. Also, he was mansplaining, and that is always a valid reason to start any debate.

Colorado College also taught me the great lengths to which 24 hours can be stretched. In the real world, a day is a day, and you accomplish as much as you can and then head to sleep. On the Block Plan, if you don’t fit at least four days into one then, honestly, you need to step it up. Twenty-four hours can be equivalent to three full days if you have enough caffeine to bring you up, and some Genesee to bring you down.

In the more literal sense, CC has managed to teach me multiple, lasting life lessons. These lessons include: men are the worst – always – bitches love being bitches, you can always blame things on the altitude, and you should admire Pikes Peak every day. I will now address these lessons one by one. So, with the first, you may ask: why are men the worst? If you happen to take any block with an outspoken white boy, you will then understand. I would say every time someone is interrupted by an OWB, I lose about 15 minutes off my life. By the way, most of the time, you aren’t being a devil’s advocate, and you are just being racist, classist, sexist, transphobic, and/or ignorant!

Next up, why are bitches bitches? In this patriarchal hierarchy that we live in, women were taught to tear other women down in an effort by the male population to keep us inferior. So, *** that, and please be nice to the ladies around you. The community environment that CC has instilled within shows us just how effective we can all be when we band together. 

Now, with the altitude, we are literally over a mile above sea level, therefore I have been continuously out of breath and thirsty for four years now, and that’s a pretty simple scapegoat. When in doubt, blame it on the 6,045’, no matter the issue at hand, young Tigers.

Last, but not least, why Pikes? It’s America’s goddamn mountain­ — that’s why, and we just happen to live in full view of her majesty, so bow down.

In fear of the administration not letting me walk at graduation for this terribly cynical article, let me genuinely say that the true purpose of a liberal arts education on the Block Plan is to teach us how to think ­— not just to evaluate and make decisions, but to genuinely look around where we are and question all there is. You may not remember a single thing from that class on Nietzsche you took sophomore year, but the way your brain has been shaped to critically view the world around you is something that can only be taught; and for that, I am thankful for this incredible education. It’s been a wild ride, and just remember that no matter how hard it gets, you can always *T-Pain Voice* blame it on the a-a-a-a-altitude. 


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