Q&A: Two outsiders tell what it’s like to move to Fort Collins

Lisa Beisswanger, a Huntington Beach, California native and Lauren Doherty from Omaha, Nebraska, moved to Fort Collins a year ago to begin their time studies at Colorado State University and their adventures in Fort Collins. They tell all about what it’s really like being a newbie in Fort Collins.

Gina: What brought you here to Fort Collins?

Lisa: I knew I wanted to go somewhere that was completely different from where I lived and that would have good programs for what I wanted to study. Fort Collins had the mountains and four seasons, while back in California I got the beach and weather that stayed pretty constant.

Lauren: I loved how happy and welcoming people were here.

Gina: What has made you stay?

Lisa: Because my overall experience has been amazing. I’ve made amazing friends, got into Kappa Alpha Theta, and have had some crazy adventures that I wouldn’t have been able to do back home.

Gina: What is your favorite experience that you’ve had during your time here in Fort Collins?

Lisa: The best experience I’ve had since coming to Fort Collins was when I went on my first backpacking trip with my boyfriend. It was when we first started dating. He’s so outdoorsy and asked if I wanted to go on one for Valentine’s weekend. It was amazing — we hiked the Grey Rock Trail and camped. Some of our hiking took place in pitch dark while we only had our head lamps and his GPS to guide the way, but we made it. The coolest part was waking up and getting to actually see where we were. I’ll never forget that trip.

Gina: What is the oddest thing you’ve experienced or witnessed here?

Lisa: The oddest thing is the (focus) around weed. There’s dispensaries and places like Cheba Hut that base their business around the fact that weed is legal with the names of their sandwiches and what not. In the beginning, many people asked me if that was the reason I came to Colorado, but clearly not.

Lauren: The Tour De Fat. It’s a big bike race of drunk people.

Gina: What are the biggest differences between Fort Collins and your previous home?

Lisa: The biggest differences are the weather and scenery. Four seasons and bipolar weather in Colorado and constant decently warm weather mainly in California. Also, people are so much nicer here in Fort Collins and not in such a rush as the people in California. Another big difference is my friends and family that are back in California. My family is very close so it’s been pretty hard to be without them; I call them a lot and we have a family group text that we use almost everyday!

Lauren: The biggest difference is speed limits. They are so slow here! Also, it’s not as common to have a conversation with a random stranger here.

Gina: Is there anything that Coloradans comment on about you?

Lisa: There are definitely some things that I say and do that many Coloradans think is weird. I over appreciate when it rains — I get super excited because we didn’t get much rain in California. Also, people just assume that you’re not a very good driver when you’re from California, which can be annoying (because) I’m not bad at it.

Lauren: I call a shopping cart a buggy. I’ve been told I say ‘roof’, ‘washer’ and ‘began’ weird.

Gina: Do you have a favorite place here?

Lauren: Any of the hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. I love to be outside and it’s so beautiful here. My favorite restaurant is Bisetti’s — I love Italian food.

Lisa: My favorite place is anywhere outside. I love going camping in the Canyon, and partaking in all the outdoors activities that this place has to offer. I also love being on campus. It makes me so happy to walk around and just appreciate the right decision I made to come to Fort Collins.