Here you are, staring spring semester right in the face. And whether you're a wee frosh or sixth-year (silly Van Wilder, real life is for kids without trust funds), you've got another few months in good ol' Boulder.
Sure, you've been to class, slept (er, studied) in the library and been stuck in traffic on U.S. 36. But have you really experienced the Republic? Don't be a grade-A "I'll get around to it later" bum. This is your unofficial "Official Guide to Boulder Must-Dos," or as I call it, the "Boulder Selfie Album for Assholes." Cameras ready? Let's get it on.
Check out the world's shortest ... parade
It's not about size, it's about the satisfaction it gives you. Every year on March 17, we all go green, Kermit-style, and start slamming food dye-ed beer in honor of another country's holiday. 'Merica. But the folks at Conor O'Neill's (1922 13th St.) are the real deal, hosting the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade. Just two blocks long, thousands will get their Irish pride on, cheering on Irish step dancers, furniture musicians and intoxicated participants as they strut from Walnut to Spruce on 13th St. And then you'll head to the bar for happy-hour deals. So go be one of those drunkards at one of Boulder's greenest annual traditions.
Pucker up, Buffaloes
There's room for interpretation here, but there's literally a buffalo's stuffed noggin hanging on the wall of the Pearl Street Pub (1108 Pearl St.) Sure, it's grungy and been slobbered on by many a drunken lad or lass, but it's there for you to pucker up with if you want to be a true Buff and kiss the stuffed Buff. Looking for more of a challenge? Chase Chip, your CU mascot, and plant one on him. If you opt for the bronze buffalo at Folsom, let's avoid frenching the poor thing, lest you become the poor sap from "A Christmas Story." Easiest of all: Find a willing fellow CU student and lay one on 'em. Sweet Buff-on-Buff action.
Sweet endorphin high
See those Flatirons? Go get all up in their sweet peaks, walking a huge trail system that offers up a sweet view of our fair town. Nestle up on one of the semi-hidden ledges at top of the First Flatiron. Hit up Woods Quarry Trail and find a set of rock couches and chairs all set up to let you lounge as you soak in the view. Head up bright and way-too-early and watch a sunrise from a ledge just short of the Royal Arch, or the arch itself. Or head up "Boulder's Stair Master," on the way up Mt. Sanitas, just down Mapleton Road. Ah, aching bum muscles.
Don the Black 'n' Gold
Ah, to cheer for a losing team. It's rough on you, the team, and all our livers. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be rubbing those vocal chords raw, shouting obscenities at the opposing team. Your CU athletes are fit, foxy and always fighting to make you proud. So the least you can do is get out there and cheer the Buffs on. All of them, from soccer to lacrosse to track stars (in riskily short shorts).
Get sweaty with 50,000
We can't all be runners. But what we can be are one of thousands out there on Memorial Day, dressed up in tutus and superhero costumes, walking or jogging the streets of Boulder for more than six miles. That's right, the Bolder Boulder 10K is one of those things that shuts down streets and keeps us locals stuck at home. But if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I say. You'll start over behind the Twenty Ninth Street Mall, wind your way to Pearl Street and up to Folsom Stadium, where everyone's cheering you to the finish line. There's nothing like it. Just don't forget sunscreen or you'll be that asshole with a sports-bra tan line for literally nine months.
We're already known as a bunch of nuts here. And while we don't all wear hemp or install solar panels wherever solar panels can go, it's a place unlike most along the Front Range. So make sure you really experience this. Do something "Boulder:" Perform as a busker on Pearl Street with whatever talent God gave you and the cops will allow. Buy incense from one of the many shops in town. Ski the slopes at Eldora. Be one of many Subarus fighting for parking downtown. Tube down Boulder Creek. Bike to an organic grocer for a vegan, home-cooked meal. Listen — but do not heckle — a live poetry reading. Go on a craft-beer crawl on bikes.
There's more to college life than books, folks. Enjoy the hell out of the town while you're here.