This essay, by Kylee from Air Academy High School, is one of the top five finalists for our scholarship. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below this post!
Why I Think Colorado Springs is a Great Place to Live:
Colorado Springs seems unlike any other place in the world. The city is large and thriving, yet still maintains its nature oriented feel. As a native of Colorado Springs, I know first hand the unsurpassable values the city has to offer. Perhaps without anything to compare my home to, some may argue my opinion is biased or incomplete. I argue the opposite, however, as I have had my entire live to formulate my opinion on the matter. A lifetime of wonderful experiences exclusive to the great city of Colorado Springs leaves me with one conclusion only: This is truly an incredible place to live.
Initially, looking at the city from a perspective purely concerning enjoyment, there are innumerable activities to participate in on any given day. As a teenager in Colorado Springs, a plethora of options exist to choose from when deciding what to do with friends. Many of these activities involve physical activity, making the city itself very unique. One of my favorite social activities is hiking and hammocking. Everyone packs up their hammocks and a few snacks, and hits the trails in search of a scenic location to hang out and listen to music. The city is anything but scarce of hiking trails, and nearly anyone’s house is minutes from an exceptional hike. Renowned wonders such as the Incline, Garden of the Gods, and Pikes Peak allow residents to frequently enjoy places others might only see once in their lifetime. The Springs also holds a variety of environments, from the cute downtown area of Manitou Springs where kids can take pictures or grab a cup of coffee, to large shopping complexes where kids can spend the day at the mall or the movies. My personal favorite, climbing gyms, are frequent throughout the city. When in Colorado Springs, you’re never more than 5 minutes away from an adventure, and often life feels like a vacation.
Many opportunities to get outside exist right here in Colorado Springs, but another feature of the city lies in its location with respect to other accessible adventures. For instance, the city is just hours away from a handful of ski towns, and a day trip up in the mountains occurs frequently among residents in the Springs. Summer activities such as water rafting, camping and outdoor climbing are just a short car ride away, and there’s never a shortage of things to do no matter the season.
The joys of Colorado Springs would hardly be complete without mentioning the breathtaking views available in nearly every direction. Despite the larger city feel of the area, nature is notably prevalent everywhere, and the views leave nothing to be desired. From the awe inspiring mountains to scattered forests and rivers, you’re never without a background for a quality photo. While it is sometimes easy to take the beautiful mountains for granted, the drive to school rarely seems like anything but a privilege when surrounded by this uniquely splendid landscape.
Additionally, the word “perfect” comes instantly to mind when thinking about the weather in Colorado Springs. Although some may find the weather sporadic and unpredictable, this frequent change spares all boredom. One day, the sun may beam down, providing a comfortable 70 degree day, while the next day might bring cloudy rain showers or even a blizzard. Summers in Colorado are pleasantly warm, while winters are cold but far from unbearable. Surprisingly frequent snow storms provide adequate snowdays for the students of Colorado Springs, and some of my favorite days have consisted of sledding down the slope of a nearby mountain. The comfortable weather throughout the summer allows residents to enjoy outdoor activities nearly every day, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.
Yet another service the city of Colorado Springs provides the people who live there is the high altitude. While this may seem like an inconvenience to outsiders, residents know that the altitude keeps them in top shape. If a runner travels nearly anywhere else in the country, the lower altitude will allow them to run with ease. Living at altitude eliminates the struggle many others feel when they travel to places with a higher altitude. Without any extra efforts, living in Colorado offers substantial benefits to athletes, or anyone looking to enjoy physical activities.
Most importantly, the active vibe of Colorado Springs makes it an incredibly enjoyable place to live. On any given drive, a Coloradan might pass at least 5 runners and countless bikers out taking in the fresh mountain air. While such sightings might seem scarce elsewhere, active residents are plentiful in any weather. This active environment also incentivises clean practices such as biking to work or spending time outside picking up trash.
Currently, I am a part of a club at my school called “Keep Colorado Green”. This organization promotes collecting trash from neighboring parks and hikes, creating a cleaner place for public enjoyment. Such programs can be seen all over Colorado Springs, along with other environmental initiatives such as solar panels or composting. There is definitely an emphasis on environment awareness where I live, which is not only incredible, but also unique among other U.S. cities.
Colorado Springs is somewhat of a military city, as the US Air Force Academy and both Army and Air Force bases are located here. This means that a continuous influx of new people come to experience the wonders of the city. Throughout high school, I constantly got to meet new students and make new friends each year, as their parents moved for their military jobs. Unfortunately, this also meant losing some friends as they moved away throughout the years, but keeping in touch with them and hearing about their new experiences allows me to see a wide variety of culture as they move around the world.
I feel truly blessed to live in the great city of Colorado Springs. There is something for everyone to enjoy here, no matter their interests. The accessibility provided by a larger city coupled with beautiful scenic views and a plethora of outdoor activities make Colorado Springs one of a kind. For these reasons and many more, I am proud to call this place my home.