Beer, Bands, and Belonging

by Tolu Taiwo

The past couple of weeks has been nothing but a whirlwind of work for us CSU SAHE grads. For those of us in Res Life, we endured one of the craziest, busiest, and information-riddled events of the year—RA training. Many of my friends in the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement went on a two day retreat with their staff members, and the rest of the grads started to see more undergrads in their offices. After five full days with my students, I realized just how much I loved my assistantship, and how lucky I am to be here. I also realized that I needed a break. It was time to stop thinking about work (a hard feat for me) and start exploring the Fort Collins area more.

Hence the “Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest” festival. Every year in the middle of August, Fort Collins hosts this three-day palooza that features Colorado-based bands and businesses around the area. Music and street festivals are my jam, so another grad and I rounded up as many cohort members as we could find and headed out on Saturday morning, ready to explore the downtown part of the town.

Despite the blaring persistency of the sun paired with 85-plus-degree weather, we all managed to have a blast. Bands were heard, waffles, lemonade, and beer were consumed, prizes were won, and silliness ensued.

The festival in itself was wonderful, but I think the best thing about the day was getting to bond with my cohort. It’s been tough simultaneously getting used to life without my best friends from home and scrambling to meet everyone here, but as the weeks go by, I’m getting more and more comfortable to hang out with everyone in a non-work setting. I feel better about turning off “Tolu-work-mode” around people, which means I’m getting a little more secure with everyone. And that, my friends, is a better gift than free giveaways, lemonade, and fake mustaches combined.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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