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Old 01-22-2013, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
6 posts, read 9,846 times
Reputation: 21

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8 months into my Colorado Springs experience.

Obviously take it all with a gain of salt because worldliness varies person-person, but I'm generally an open kinda guy and try to get involved with everything an area has to offer...

HERE WE GO. I honestly loved this place at first when I originally moved out here. It was summer and everyone was very warm and open. And maybe that was my own personality bouncing off of them and reflecting what I wanted, but generally everyone had a great vibe and was super nice.

I made more friends in the first 4 months in Colorado than I did in the 2 years I lived in LA. Everything was going great and although I met some folks that were jaded about the area I didn't let them get to me because I was loving the atmosphere.

Well as the seasons changed, so did my friends. I had an awesome bike community in the summer. We rode just about every other day and then would grab drinks afterwards. As Summer became Fall I joined a running club and slowly but steadily started hanging out with a few of the runners from the club more than I would my bike friends.

Now I didn't think that was a big deal. I figured the bike friends just got caught up with school or something and I wasn't too worried as I had great connections with these new homies that were runners....

Well as Fall became Winter the runners started dropping off my radar as well and I started chilling with a few guys that I met from a snowboard meetup. I remember though asking one of my runner buddies one night where his buddies from college were and he kinda shrugged and said they went their own ways. I didn't think much of it at the time but as the runners dropped and the snowboarders became my main group I started to recognize a pattern.

For whatever reason, people in this area are really reclusive. The snowboard friends have also now started to fade away and the guys that I live with have even bailed and moved away. I don't know what it is about this area but folks just aren't as social as I had originally depicted them to be...

I've traveled a lot thus far in my career and for that I'm fortunate, but the one true lesson I've learned in having lived in so many places is that if you don't have buddies, (true buddies, as in friends that would give you a kidney) your not going to be happy. There's no reason to be anywhere unless you have a community that you are apart of and have friends that will hang with you without any expectation for you to be the main source of entertainment.

This area has a lot to offer. Beautiful outdoors, amazing trails, 4 distinct seasons, a flawless atmosphere, and much more. That being said, it's also a very soft-spoken area that doesn't necessarily cater to those our age. The community as a whole is 30+ and are usually settled down families that aren't looking for any crazy thrills.

There's one main drag that is about 4 blocks long where the bars and restaurants are, but besides that it is a very suburban family atmosphere.

A big part of this has to do with religion. If your religious than this area would be perfect because there's a plethora of cults full of young adults our age that are always planning weekend excusions... or 'get-a-ways' as they call them. Being that I'm not religious though, I often sense this wall that immediately gets constructed between myself and them once I reveal my spiritual stance.

I luckily have a buddy that lives in Boulder and have gone up for the weekend several times. It's a great way to contrast these two very culturally different areas of Colorado. Boulder, being more of a college town, has a lot more younger adults and isn't as much of a reclusive community as Colorado Springs. I generally can start conversation with anyone my age and not come off as an oddball or a complete creep.

I'm just on a pursuit for fun and nothing less. If your not having a good time than something needs to change and right now I'm honestly feeling the loneliest that I've ever felt my entire life. This area is just a poor match for my interests and the community culture that I've taken for granted in the past is the opposite of what I need.

Last edited by tgnsd; 01-22-2013 at 07:34 PM..
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:42 PM
 
Location: C-U metro
1,368 posts, read 2,979,112 times
Reputation: 1187
I'm sorry social life for you in COS didn't pan out. I lived in COS in my early 30's, single, male, no kids. I got the same weird looks at stores and I refused to date Army Wives or welfare/child support moms so dating was non-existent or done in Denver. My experience was the same as yours only I did have co-workers that I could hang out with that were 25-40. We still play fantasy football even though we have all left COS. That provided an outlet for me socially that you may not have.

I think it should be said that this group of co-workers were all from other places and did not grow up in COS. In many ways, we were just a large group of outcasts who really wasn't allowed to socialize with the "others" as the ones who grew up in COS chose never to come to our parties, even after repeated invitations.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:15 AM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,897,866 times
Reputation: 1930
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgnsd View Post
8 months into my Colorado Springs experience.

Obviously take it all with a gain of salt because worldliness varies person-person, but I'm generally an open kinda guy and try to get involved with everything an area has to offer...

HERE WE GO. I honestly loved this place at first when I originally moved out here. It was summer and everyone was very warm and open. And maybe that was my own personality bouncing off of them and reflecting what I wanted, but generally everyone had a great vibe and was super nice.

I made more friends in the first 4 months in Colorado than I did in the 2 years I lived in LA. Everything was going great and although I met some folks that were jaded about the area I didn't let them get to me because I was loving the atmosphere.

Well as the seasons changed, so did my friends. I had an awesome bike community in the summer. We rode just about every other day and then would grab drinks afterwards. As Summer became Fall I joined a running club and slowly but steadily started hanging out with a few of the runners from the club more than I would my bike friends.

Now I didn't think that was a big deal. I figured the bike friends just got caught up with school or something and I wasn't too worried as I had great connections with these new homies that were runners....

Well as Fall became Winter the runners started dropping off my radar as well and I started chilling with a few guys that I met from a snowboard meetup. I remember though asking one of my runner buddies one night where his buddies from college were and he kinda shrugged and said they went their own ways. I didn't think much of it at the time but as the runners dropped and the snowboarders became my main group I started to recognize a pattern.

For whatever reason, people in this area are really reclusive. The snowboard friends have also now started to fade away and the guys that I live with have even bailed and moved away. I don't know what it is about this area but folks just aren't as social as I had originally depicted them to be...

I've traveled a lot thus far in my career and for that I'm fortunate, but the one true lesson I've learned in having lived in so many places is that if you don't have buddies, (true buddies, as in friends that would give you a kidney) your not going to be happy. There's no reason to be anywhere unless you have a community that you are apart of and have friends that will hang with you without any expectation for you to be the main source of entertainment.

This area has a lot to offer. Beautiful outdoors, amazing trails, 4 distinct seasons, a flawless atmosphere, and much more. That being said, it's also a very soft-spoken area that doesn't necessarily cater to those our age. The community as a whole is 30+ and are usually settled down families that aren't looking for any crazy thrills.

There's one main drag that is about 4 blocks long where the bars and restaurants are, but besides that it is a very suburban family atmosphere.

A big part of this has to do with religion. If your religious than this area would be perfect because there's a plethora of cults full of young adults our age that are always planning weekend excusions... or 'get-a-ways' as they call them. Being that I'm not religious though, I often sense this wall that immediately gets constructed between myself and them once I reveal my spiritual stance.

I luckily have a buddy that lives in Boulder and have gone up for the weekend several times. It's a great way to contrast these two very culturally different areas of Colorado. Boulder, being more of a college town, has a lot more younger adults and isn't as much of a reclusive community as Colorado Springs. I generally can start conversation with anyone my age and not come off as an oddball or a complete creep.

I'm just on a pursuit for fun and nothing less. If your not having a good time than something needs to change and right now I'm honestly feeling the loneliest that I've ever felt my entire life. This area is just a poor match for my interests and the community culture that I've taken for granted in the past is the opposite of what I need.
Typical transient nature of CO. Of the 4 couples we have met in the last 3 yrs all have moved out of state.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 6,032,081 times
Reputation: 965
Good post. And as a 40-something w/o kids or family, I agree with much you've said. Once you get through the 20s, people stabilize and true friendships can form. CoS is pretty much a giant suburb of a tiny 'city.'
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:56 PM
 
6 posts, read 14,154 times
Reputation: 12
I'm also 22 and just moved to the Springs after some time in the Army. I picked this city for several reasons. I like the size and population. I felt it was a good mixture of not-too crowded but also had enough of everything within a short drive. I also liked the proximity to a big city with pro sports teams and such. Of course I liked the military friendly atmosphere and potential for federal jobs. I found schools here that were a good fit for me. I doubt i'll be able to find employment here once I graduate as a mechanical engineer, but my intention was for the Springs to be a good place to live while i'm in school.

I'm having a terrible time finding people my age to befriend. Even the students at PPCC seem different than the people I'm used to being around. I'm used to the "Army" life where I have 20 close friends that live right down the hall from me. Having not grown up in this town and not knowing the area or the people well, it's very difficult to find people willing to let "the new guy" into their circle. People here just seem more socially isolated. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed this?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:55 AM
 
727 posts, read 1,267,826 times
Reputation: 772
Austinhammer - I suspect part of the problem you're having in fitting in at the college is that you're a bit older than most of your peers and, more importantly, you're a vet, with life experiences and a level of maturity most of your fellow students simply don't have, and never will, particularly at your age. When I got out of the service back in the dark ages, I went back to grad school. I was 25 and many of my courses were undergraduate, and so my 'peers' in many cases were 6-7 years younger than me, and many had never even held a job, much less been in the military. It took a while, but things worked out well (after a semester I was hired as a graduate assistant, a great experience; I also met my wife of almost 36 years). My advice is to just let things happen. Sooner or later, folks will recognize that your life experience is worth something in the college environment and you'll be assimilated and accepted, in part because of your life outside the classroom.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:10 PM
 
6 posts, read 14,154 times
Reputation: 12
Carrera32, you made some excellent points. I appreciate your wisdom. I've got a long road ahead in my education but I'm excited about pursuing it in Colorado Springs. I'm already catching myself wishing I was still in "the Army life" on occasion. It really was an incredible experience.

As for tgnsd, your post pointed me towards some outdoor activities i'd like to try. I hope you find an area more suited to your needs soon.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:37 PM
 
3,491 posts, read 5,568,751 times
Reputation: 5410
This is a good thread. It really explains the experiences some people may have upon moving to this city. I can see how someone could be lonely with the suburban nature. I moved here with my wife, and we are far from the definition of "social". We have friends, but we don't go out much. We wanted this type of environment, but for some people it may seem a little lonely. I'd like to take a trip through boulder and see what it is like there. I checked the street views through google, but I was a little concerned by what appeared to be a lack of street space. It seemed like having a car there would be hard and the traffic would be heavy because there were so few roads compared to people.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:32 PM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,957 posts, read 7,836,622 times
Reputation: 1781
He's right to a point. You almost have to have grown up here to fit in. I was fortunate in that fact, but I've seen others have the same problems. The people in COS tend to be very cliqueish and closed off.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:42 PM
 
14 posts, read 40,462 times
Reputation: 37
I've been here for over 8 years now, and I have to say my experience mirrors the OPs. When I got here I was 25, in the military, and excited to be done traveling and have something of a "home base" from which to explore. Fast forward 8 years, and -- even though I'm no longer in the military -- I still struggle to call this place home. The heavy military influence seems to present some social and demographic challenges that are incredibly difficult to overcome.

I will say the one thing that helped me the most in recent years is deciding to join a meetup group through meetup.com. It still suffers many of the same problems as the general population of COS, just on a much smaller scale. Out of the hundreds of people I've met through the group, I have only a handful that I'd consider close friends, but that's really enough for me at this point in my life, and is certainly a good enough place to start.
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