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6 Non-Academic Lessons Taught at Schools

Early on, college can seem like just another chore. When I was a student and was done with my work, I would put my notes on my desk and never thought about them until test day. When your mind is constantly being fed new information that you are expected to retain, time for reflection often becomes lost. It took a few years of working for me to finally realize just how much my professors had taught me. To save you from that trouble, here is a list of common non-academic lessons you may not realize you’re being taught in schools.

  1. Have Patience

When you’re in the thick of a degree hunt, waiting is the hardest part. Everything is about planning for the future at this point — in two years I’ll have a job; in four years I’ll get a promotion, etc. Learning to be patient will greatly influence how you go about your career. Most employers see drive and enthusiasm as good traits, but too much of either can be detrimental to finding a mobile path.

  1. Learn to Love Learning

Education doesn’t end once you’ve gotten your degree. Once you learn to love learning, you will have a skill that can create opportunities for a lifetime. Learning doesn’t mean studying your biology notes for years after you’ve graduated. It can be as simple as making a mistake, owning that mistake, and knowing how to do better next time.

  1. Know That You Don’t Know

This is the inevitable paradox of education—the more you know, the more you see what you don’t know. Being cognizant of what you still need to learn will drastically improve how you approach your future.

  1. Embrace the Art of Multitasking

It’s the middle of the semester, and you see that you have two tests and two essays due on the same day. It seems like a cruel game, right? Pure evil. But, these kind of days prepare you for real world experiences. Learning to balance time and energy effectively are skills that many employers find attractive.

  1. Appreciate the Small Things

You don’t have to win the lottery every day for your day to be a success. Finding victories in things like arriving to work on time, or eating a healthy breakfast can go a long way in improving your self-esteem and outlook.

  1. Figure Out How to Push Yourself

It doesn’t take a football coach kind of mentality to push yourself. Everyone is different. Everyone responds differently to motivation. Yelling, cursing, and screaming doesn’t always wake the warrior inside. Learn what motivates you and exploit it. Some students are motivated by breaking a big goal into small tasks. Others get stuff done when they can look forward to a reward. This is a very personal, yet profound journey you must take.

It may take time to learn these lessons for yourself, but once you do, you’ll really start to appreciate the education you received rather than just the degree.


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An Introduction to Veteran & Military Student Programs

Here at CU Denver, we take pride in providing our military men and women with a quality education catered toward their distinct needs. Our mission is to create a positive transition and support programs for student service members, veterans, and their families in order to support their transition into academics, increase their graduation success rate, and assist them in achieving placement in their chosen career field following graduation.

“The Veteran & Military Student Services (VMSS) office is there to help veteran students transition from military to college, and succeed in whatever path that individual takes.” explained Junior Biology/Pre-med major, Kevin Bolser. “If a person is active in the office or associated programs it allows them to help other veterans succeed but it also gives them different experiences, friends, and perspectives that they otherwise may not have.”

CU Denver has appeared on the G.I. Jobs “Military Friendly Schools” List multiple times, ranking well because of its focus on employment support, transition and redeployment assistance, counseling referrals, and educational benefit certification. For example, Michael Chadwick is pursuing his second master’s degree at CU Denver and initially chose the school because of its culture and welcoming veteran environment.

The Principles of Excellence program is an agreement by the school to follow guidelines pertaining to student veteran issues in order to make things easier for veterans to navigate and complete their education. CU Denver also follows the eight keys to veterans’ success.

CU Denver’s Boots to Suits program ensures a smooth transition from military service to the classroom and then to the workforce. Chadwick explains that, “The program includes training, mentorship, and professional development [and] numerous networking opportunities as well.”

The PAVE program partners each incoming student with a veteran student who has already navigated the specific challenges of education after service. The program also offers tutoring, mental wellness resources, professional development workshops, and scholarships specifically for veteran students.

Adrian Toca, a junior studying Psychology, was one of the first mentors for the PAVE program and has significantly benefited from the services offered by the Office of Veteran Military Services. He said, “The office’s tutoring program has definitely helped a lot because it was an extra resource outside the CU Denver Learning Resource Center that was able to easily work around my hectic schedule.”

The university is also home to the CU Heroes Clinic, a dental clinic operated by the School of Dental Medicine, that serves honorably discharged veterans enrolled at CU Denver and select other Colorado schools. The clinic’s goal is to help bridge the gap for veterans who often do not have dental coverage when they leave military service by providing quality care at no cost.

Nationwide, veterans who have been discharged within the last 4 years are eligible for in state tuition at public schools across all 50 states. This means that veterans and their dependents no longer face residency requirements or higher non-resident tuition charges. There are exceptions, of course, but this is a significant benefit for a large portion of veterans.

Toca said, “I definitely would [recommend visiting the office] if they have time. There are many benefits to it.” Chadwick agrees, ” Having a successful transition from service to civilian cannot be done without resources. This office can directly connect you with a number of resources to help you along during your time of transition.”

For more information on veteran educational benefits, visit military.com. Interested in one of the nation’s best veteran programs? Visit CU Denver’s Veteran Student Services page.


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How to Make the Most of Your Time in Denver

Once you’ve scheduled a visit to our campus, you should take advantage of your time in downtown Denver! As a growing city, Denver has a lot to offer for a day, a weekend or longer. To truly understand what being a student at the University of Colorado Denver is like, you need to experience the city at some of these locations!

The Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is home to their world famous American Indian art collection as well as art from around the world. Admission is free on the first Saturday of every month.

Denver Union Station

Visit a 100 year old landmark and some of the city’s top restaurants and bars. Union Station also offers access to the free 16th Street Mall shuttle.

16th Street Mall

Take a walk down a tree-lined streets of red, white and gray granite. The 16th Street Mall offers shopping, restaurants, and daily special events.

Buffalo Herd Nature Reserve

The city of Denver maintains a herd of 40 buffalo just outside of downtown Denver. They’re direct descendants of the last wild buffalo herd in America.

Colorado Sports

Denver is home to Denver Broncos football, Denver Nuggets basketball, Colorado Rockies baseball, Colorado Avalanche hockey and Colorado Rapids soccer, not to mention college and other spectator sports.

Kayaking in Confluence Park

Ride man-made kayak chutes minutes from downtown Denver, no experience necessary! Confluence Kayaks offers lessons, rentals, and adventure.

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

You may have heard of concerts being held in this natural, gorgeous outdoor setting just 15 minutes from Denver, but besides the music, there are hiking and biking trails that are just as breathtaking.

Be sure to get the full Denver experience by checking out a variety of things to do around the area. You’ll quickly realize that there’s something for everyone – and CU Denver sits in the heart.


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Sleep v. Grades v. Friends: Finding the Balance

The greatest dilemma of every college student: how do you spend your time? There are three typical things that students choose to devote their time toward: studies, social life or physical health. All of these are important, so here are some tricks to striking a balance:

Know what you value most. Since you’re studying at school, you probably place importance on your grades, but prioritising is not as simple as completing your school work or not. You do have a limited amount of time and you most likely want to save some for other things. As a result, you’ll want to have a system to getting your work done efficiently. Know deadlines for everything so you’ll be certain when you need to skip a morning workout to finish your research paper or when you can find time later in the week and go out with friends now.

Multitask when possible. You can combine school work with other things; when you have notes or a long reading, take them to the gym, when you have a project or simply a big block of time for school work, invite friends to share a study room. That way you can look up from your work every so often and enjoy your company without a major sacrifice in either area. Make your friends part of your physical well-being by taking a group fitness class together or planning a fun movie night for those times you know you need to wake up early the next day.

Think about time of day. If you’re still groggy in the morning, then school work may not be the best way to spend your morning free time. If your first class starts at 11:00, get a workout in a 9:00 or 9:30. If you find that you’re working on your school work late into the night, use that free time in the morning to sleep in. Do you study best in small bursts or extended blocks of time? Prioritize your breaks in between classes with bursts of intense studying, or use that time to meet with friends over coffee and take a mental break while saving a large chunk of time in the p.m. for your work.

You can’t have everything. There will be days when you have to push through school work even though it feels like you haven’t seen your friends in ages. There will be nights when you blow off sleep in favor of a social event or hangout. Being clear with yourself that you will be out of balance once in awhile will help you to feel less out of control and make it easier to get back in balance later.

Though balance is hard to achieve, especially when working toward a college degree, you can make it easier for yourself by thinking through what will make you most efficient and successful.