The Octagon

Aidan Cunningham, ’17, stays active by biking, playing Ultimate Frisbee at University of Denver

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(Photo used by permission of Cunningham)
Aidan Cunningham, ’17, (right) and his friends on “the whole enchilada” bike trail near University of Denver, in Colorado.

Aidan Cunningham, ‘17, attends the University of Denver, in Colorado, where he is majoring in physics.

 

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: I’ve been taking Spanish all year, and I took art, physics and math classes during the first half of the year. This quarter and the last, I still had Spanish, physics and math, but I added a writing class.

Some of the classes have 45, 50 or 60 people, but others are closer to 10 or 12 people.

 

Q: What was your favorite?

A: My favorite was the art class in the first quarter. It was just a pretty sweet class because it was small, and we got to do fun art projects – it was pretty chill and fun.

 

Q: Least favorite?

A: Probably my Spanish class. Not because Spanish is bad but because the class is just super fast-paced. I kind of know a little bit of Spanish, so I was pretty OK, but a lot of people I know got destroyed by the class because it just moved so quickly, and there was also a bunch of homework every night.

You were supposed to be working for at least two hours a night on homework, so when you have class every day, it just really sucks.

(Photo used by permission of Cunningham)
Cunningham (right) with his friend Mike.

Q: How was the transition?

A: My classes have definitely been pretty similar to high school classes. Since I have a lot of free time, the classes are actually a lot easier then they were at Country Day.

 

Q: Are you in any clubs?

A: I’m in two clubs: Ultimate Frisbee and fly fishing. Most of my friends are in Ultimate – that’s actually where I made most of my friends.

Ultimate is a sport that anyone kinda athletic can play because there’s not a lot of people who play. So it’s easy to pick up because not everyone’s super good – it’s not like playing basketball or soccer, where all the people who play those sports are really, really good already.

We played a few tournaments this year and have about three practices a week.

I joined fishing club because it’s always been something that I’ve liked. The fly fishing club didn’t really happen, so I’m not super involved with it. I did go on one trip with the club to Gunnison in southern Colorado in the fall quarter.

 

Q: What’s your housing like?

A: I live on campus in a dorm called Towers. It’s a suite setup – there’s my double, then a kitchen and a bathroom, and then another double. My roommate left in the first quarter, so I have a double to myself.

 

Q: What’s your favorite part of college?

A: Not having to be on campus the whole day.

After class here I can do whatever I want. If I have a bunch of homework, I can just do homework and stuff, but if I don’t have a bunch of homework, I’m done with class at like 1 p.m., so I can peace out and leave.

I can ride bikes, hang out with my friends and even go downtown. It’s just way more chill in that sense.

 

(Photo used by permission of Cunningham)
Cunningham (back row, sixth from left) and the rest of the Ultimate team at a tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the University of Denver?

A: I feel like a lot of colleges are very similar in the way they are oriented, but I think that being close to the mountains and the outdoors is cool.

I can get off campus whenever I want, and that’s really nice because I know a lot of people here that can get landlocked in campus and just live in the bubble of the campus. So it’s really nice to be able to get off campus and go camping and stuff.

 

Q: How do you get around campus?

A: I just walk; it’s not a huge campus.

 

Q: What’s the atmosphere of the school?

A: I don’t really know how to describe it. I would say it’s pretty laid-back, but it’s also pretty studious. Also, there’s a solid amount of people in Greek life.

 

Q: Are there any school traditions you have participated in?

A: I went to Winter Carnival, which is an event where (students) go to the Keystone Ski Resort. (Students get) discounted ski passes, so everyone gets these super-cheap tickets and goes skiing. (My friends and I) rented a house up there for the weekend, and we just hung out and went snowboarding and skiing – it was really fun.

 

Q: Have you made any freshman mistakes?

A: I don’t think I’ve made any super-bad freshman mistakes. I have locked myself out (of my dorm) before, but I have suitemates. So I just go through their door because someone’s usually around.

(Photo used by permission of Cunningham)
In the mountains of Colorado, Cunningham rides his bike down “the whole enchilada” trail.

Q: Do you have any college advice for seniors?

A: Honestly, trust your high school teachers. A lot of the teachers at Country Day gave a lot of good advice, and if you go and ask them for advice, they’ll give you pretty good advice.

 

Five-Star or Subpar

Food: ☆☆☆

School Spirit: ☆☆☆☆

Location: ☆☆☆☆

Clubs: ☆☆☆☆☆

Student-teacher Interaction: ☆☆☆☆☆

—By David Situ

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