Solo living in a big city is not as scary as it sounds. Of course, there are going to be scary situations, as we experienced these past three days, but once you get your bearings and understand how to react, things get easy.
These past few days, we were given the challenge of creating a life for ourselves in Denver. We had to do things like making a budget, touring apartments, applying for jobs, attending college courses, etc., all while learning the ropes of getting ourselves around the city. In addition, we had a secret challenge that needed to be executed over the three days.
The first day was really laid back. We applied for jobs, found a place to live, created a budget, and found a hole-in-the-wall restaurant to eat dinner at. Most of the day was spent in the hostel, working on the computer and calling people.
The second day was much more eventful. We had to sit in at a college class, learn something interesting at the public library, tour a gym, and sketch something we found at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The day before, we spent the majority of our time split up into smaller groups, so we decided to stick together for this day. We all learned how to use public transit fairly well and found ourselves in no sketchy situations, besides seeing a terrible car crash. Most of the group had meetings with interesting people on this day, so a good deal of our time was spent running around to those. Jill met a research assistant at the Denver Botanical Garden, Midge met a professor of bioengineering and Kieran met a professor of civil engineering.
The third day was probably the most sketchy of the three days we had to work. There were worries with transportation and security guards and a whole collection of issues. We were tasked with getting to the top of the tallest building in Denver without getting arrested, performing a random act of kindness for a stranger, and figuring out how to get ourselves to the Denver International Airport on Saturday.
For getting to the tallest building, we decided to go to the Republic Plaza, the obvious first choice since it’s the tallest building in the Rockies. As we walked in, we were stopped by security guards pushing us and telling us that this is a private building and we cannot be here. Apparently another group did this challenge yesterday and got to the top, but that put the security guards on alert for all the other groups. Our second choice was a 29 story Bank of America building. We easily got to the penthouse and walked up to the roof through the stairwell. The roof access was locked and we walked back down to the penthouse to take the elevator down. Little did we know the stairwell doors lock behind you, so we were stuck up on the 29th floor. Kieran ran down 29 flights, lied about his intentions to the security guards, and got back on the elevator to unlock the door for us all.
After that debacle, we headed to Max’s house (his family lives in the city) to use his quick wifi for figuring out how to get to the airport, in addition to working on our secret challenge. We spent the rest of the day there.
Our secret challenge was to yarn bomb a statue in the park. Our time spent working on this challenge mainly consisted of knitting together little scarves and turtlenecks to give to the stone residents of Denver. On Wednesday night, we installed them.
These past three days have been a wild ride. Our group dynamics were stretched at many points, but never did we break down or become non-functioning. I, as well as everyone in the group, could say we are ready to build our lives, wherever they may take us.