Making the Most of Your First Week

Making the Most of Your First Week

Different Teaching Styles


When you come to CSU one of the first differences you will notice is the American College teaching style. The relationship between you and your professor as well as your classmates may be very different to what you are used to.

Addressing Professors

Professors at CSU aim to have a very easy and open communication channel with their students. Compared to other university interactions, it is much more friendly and casual than other countries.

Unlike in other countries, you as a student are allowed to email them directly and address them in person during their office contact hours. Usually, the professors will list their office hours in the syllabus, however, most of them are happy to arrange an appointment if you would like to meet with them outside of class. 

What to Bring to Classes

Depending on your own personal preference, you may either choose to type or write your notes in class. Although it is much more common for students to hand write their notes. You can purchase all the required stationery items from the CSU Bookstore, as well as purchasing your textbooks.  

We recommend you have at least the following items:

  • PensStationary Items
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Highlighters
  • USB
  • Exercise book
  • Laptop/i-pad etc


Some optional items include:

  • DiaryExercise Books
  • Sticky tape
  • Stapler
  • Paperclips
  • Plastic folders
  • Binders
  • White-out
  • Scissors


TextbooksDon’t forget that you will require textbooks for some of your classes. We recommend that you wait until after syllabus week (first week of classes) before you purchase/rent your textbooks. Your professor will specify what they require from you and if it is necessary to find a textbook or not.

You can purchase and rent textbooks from the CSU Bookstore. You may also be able to find some of your textbooks available for purchase on other websites such as Amazon.



If you are having trouble in your classes, go to TILT. TILT stands for The Institute for Learning and Teaching, and it provides tutoring, study groups, and workshops for students who may need a little extra help. The TILT building is located off the oval, and its different tutoring sections are listed on its website.


Have Some Fun

Just because you are here for school doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some fun! There are a ton of things to do around For Collins both on and off CSU’s campus. The following are just a few suggestions for links to even more options and where you can find dates, locations and times see the end of this section.


Going Out

Map of all the bars nears CSUThe first week of school is a great time to have some fun and find a party or go out to the bars before classes get going and people start to get busy. If you’re on a budget, the Rooster is an excellent resource for drink specials, and this Coloradoan article has some great places to start.

While these resources are helpful, the best way to find out where you should be on your Friday nights is from your fellow students. Talk to people and more often than not you will get invited out.


RAM Fest

people at the concert RAM fest
Photo by Abigail Lynn

Every year CSU puts on a concert for its students bringing in professional singers/ bands to kick off the year. This show is always a fun time and an affordable price (usually $10).  Past headliners include Jhené Aiko,  Head and The Heart and  Lee Brice.



Students show CSU school spirit by waving around orange towelsAs school starts so does the fall sports season which means that there are football games and volleyball matches to attend! Even if you’re not a sports fan, you should attend at least one game just for the experience; especially because student tickets are free!


Grill The Buffs

buffalo/bison burger at grill the buffs csu
Buffalo burger photo by Alireza Etemadi

One of CSU’s favorite traditions is to get together for a giant picnic and grill up some buffalo burgers. As the buffalo is our rival school’s (CU Boulder) mascot, this is a great way to not only get a free lunch but show some CSU spirit!




Rocky Mountain Showdown

Tailgating at Mile High – Photo By Hunter Thomson

One of the most anticipated football games is the rivalry game between CSU and CU Boulder. This is such a significant event that it takes place at Sports Authority Field at the Mile High Stadium, which is home to Colorado’s professional team the Denver Broncos.  

Students put on their best CSU gear and drive down to support our team, win or lose it’s always a spirited event. Many students also take the opportunity to explore Denver after the game since they are already there.

If you don’t have a ride to Denver, don’t worry. When you buy your ticket, you can also buy a seat on a bus heading down. This is great because you won’t have to pay for parking, navigate through downtown Denver, find a DD if you plan to drink and snacks are provided.


Fall Involvement Expo

If you are looking for a club to join, a cause to volunteer for or a group of friends go to the involvement fair. All different student organizations set up tables with information about their programs. Even if you don’t plan on joining anything you are likely to get some free candy.


Paint The A

The A at Horsetooth after it was painted by CSU students
View of the A, photo by Sydney Barrett

If you want a chance to get outside and see more of Fort Collins sign up to paint the A. If you haven’t seen the A, stand on the LSC steps and face the hills visible across the IM fields. You will probably

Students painting the A white at CSU
CSU students using an air compressor to paint the A white!

notice the giant white letter A painted on to the side of the Horsetooth Reservaure. 

Painting the A is exactly what it sounds like. You hike up Horsetooth with a bunch of other students and put a coat of eco-friendly paint over the faded coat currently there. Don’t worry we use air compressors to spread the paint, so you won’t need to do it by hand and having knowledge of air compressors is not required.


Clubs & Greek Life

Students from Alpha Phi Omega Epsilon Xi chapter posting with letters on CSU campus
Alpha Phi Omega is just one of the many organizations students can join.

While you may only be at CSU for a short time, we still encourage you to join CSU Clubs and/or its Greek Life.  This is especially true if you will be staying longer than a semester because often the people you meet in your exchange groups will likely be leaving. Look in see if your university has any of the same organization as CSU; you may be able to transfer your membership once you get home.


More Options


Getting Home

If you really are having the American college experience, you will at some point find yourself out late at night needing a way to get home. Along with the travel options listed in our last post here are two more ways to get safely home.


Safe Walk

Safe Walk Phone Number: (970) – 491-1155

If you don’t feel safe walking home, you can call safe walk! A CSUPD officer will come and escort from any two points on campus or within a three block radius. They run from dusk to dawn and can also be summoned from the blue stations around campus.


Ram Ride

Ram Ride Phone Number: (970) – 491- 3333

Ram Ride is a no questions asked FREE pick up service with the goal of keeping students from drunk driving. It runs from 10pm-2am Thursday and,10pm-3am Friday and Saturday nights.

Call Ram Ride, and they will pick you up from anywhere in Fort Collins and take you home (because they aren’t allowed to knowingly take students to parties they won’t pick up from the dorms but will drop you off there.) Even better all the drivers are student volunteers, who showed up mainly to hear your crazy stories!


How to Get Around Campus

Skateboarding around CSU's campus

In our last blog post, it was mentioned that CSU has numerous ways to travel around both Fort Collins and campus. Getting to classes will take an average of 10-15 minutes, but there are many options in how you do so. CSU offers a bus route that has stops all around campus, The Horn, walking, biking, roller blading,long boarding and so on.


Common Buildings

Each major will have it’s designated building in which most major-based courses will take place, however, I just wanted to cover some of the most popular across campus.



This is a Liberal Arts building with 3 wings – A, B, and C. It also contains a lot of large lecture halls as well as multiple smaller classrooms. More than likely, you will have a class here at some point throughout your stay. It is located at 1200 Center Ave. Mall, Fort Collins, CO 80523


Behavioral Sciences

Behavioral Sciences Building at Colorado State University
Behavioral Sciences Building at Colorado State University – The Collegian

This is another Liberal Arts building, but it also contains a large number of classrooms. It also houses a coffee shop, and the Human Development and Family Studies advising office. Its address is 410 Pitkin St, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO (next door to Clark C wing).


CSU Rec Center

The CSU rec center is award winning and has an abundance of activities available for students. It contains an indoor pool, spa, sauna, and steam room. There is a large indoor climbing wall that offers 55 feet of bouldering and an additional, smaller wall outdoor.

It offers 5 fitness studios for personal use or group classes, and a 24,000 square foot workout space – this includes cardio equipment, weight rooms, and stretching areas.

This address is 951 Meridian Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80523.


Lory Student Center

While the LSC does not contain a lot of day-to-day classes, this is CSU’s large community for students, faculty, and visitors.

There are various dining options, the CSU bookstore, a tech store, and banquet rooms for conferences/meetings. It is a place for meeting, getting work done, or relaxing in between classes. You really do have to visit this one to see what all it holds.

Its address is 1101 Center Ave. Mall, Fort Collins, CO 80521.


Ways to Travel

CSU offers a variety of ways to get around – The Horn, walking, biking, skateboard, or whatever you prefer. The Horn is a free CSU public bus that has stops located all around campus. More information is below.


The Horn

This shuttle runs every 10 minutes from 7:00 am to 6:40 pm

Around the Horn Colorado State University Sign
The Around the Horn shuttle lollipop signs on the Colorado State University campus – CSU Parking Services

during the school calendar year, and every 30 minutes over the summer. Its stops are identifiable by the “Around the Horn” signs at bus stops, featuring the CSU Ram logo. If you would like to see a route map including all of the stops, please visit their site.

Content on bikes at CSU can be found on our last blog post: First College Shopping Trip”.


To Keep in Mind

Bike rack with bike on CSU's campus

There are plenty of bike and skateboard locks available across campus if you choose to travel that way. Remember where you left it – it can get confusing!

There are also dismount zones to be mindful of, take a trip to main campus before classes start to get familiar with these. The first week of classes is hectic.

Another tip would be to allow for more time to get to classes the first week. This will give you a cushion if you get a little lost and lower stress levels if you do! Campus is insanely busy the first weeks of classes, it will take longer to get anywhere and everywhere.

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