I wouldn’t call Baldwin City a college town. Baker in itself seems to be in its own little bubble, but what Baker lacks in having a college town atmosphere students make up for by making the 15-minute drive to Lawrence whenever we are itching to have those college-town experiences. We are able to enjoy the restaurants that are open past 10 p.m., fun shops on Massachusetts Street and other great places within the town.
Over spring break I was able to travel with my roommate and a couple other friends to her hometown, which also happens to be another great college town similar to Lawrence but with a much larger population.
Fort Collins, Colo., home to Colorado State University, is a whole new level of the college-town experience. Old town Fort Collins specifically seems to be the size of 15 different Mass Streets put together, providing an array of different shops, restaurants and entertainment for the students of Colorado State and locals to the city.
Being with my roommate who has grown up in Fort Collins her whole life, I was able to get an authentic local version of the town.
The whole atmosphere of old town Fort Collins was laid-back and welcoming. There were great coffee shops to sit down and people watch, amazing restaurants like Snooze, a breakfast restaurant that serves red velvet pancakes and breakfast burritos the size of your face, and all of the little shops that sold unique merchandise only found in old town. Trying to go to every store would probably take over a week.
My favorite part of old town was the complete raw creativity that was going on all around. Throughout the downtown area you would find randomly placed pianos waiting to be played and painted beautifully in bright colors. So often while walking through the streets you could hear bits and pieces of music floating through the air. It was beautiful to see an area support the idea of creativity.
The people in general were friendly and would openly start conversations just to get to know a new person. The town as a whole seemed to lack the idea of judging people and seemed accepting of people for who they are and didn’t expect anything but what they could offer.
In my five days in Fort Collins I made several observations in comparing the two college towns. Lawrence, although it is different than Fort Collins, isn’t better or worse; it’s simply smaller. It provides just the right amount of entertainment for when Baker students need to get away.
Although Fort Collins is amazing and full of new experiences, Lawrence is just more practical for us Baker students and I’m okay settling with Mass Street.