Shay Rego hiking with her dog
Shay hiking with her dog, Keystone

Shay Rego
English Undergraduate
Literature and Creative Writing Concentrations

You are from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, what made you decide to study at CSU?
Everything in New England is the same; the weather, the people, the atmosphere. As much as I loved growing up on the ocean, I needed to move out of that small world. New England winters are grey, blistering, and unenjoyable. The people are rude company, downright mean, and also unenjoyable. The atmosphere I lived in was one of impermanence, where happiness only lasted June through August, and my home was just a summer vacation site for the rich. Everyone knew everyone, and it felt like I would never get to experience how big the world really was if I was stuck on this little island.

I had always imagined visiting Colorado, camping in the mountains, living “that lifestyle.” One day, I was searching colleges online and CSU popped up as a top rated college. My mom and I said why not, and hoped on a plane to tour the school. We thought it would be a good opportunity to get some distance from the east coast and experience what it would be like to live in a different part of the country. I did not expect to fall in love with CSU, Fort Collins, and all of Colorado.

Colorado as a state had so much more to offer me than all of New England. It’s hard to put it into words, but I finally felt like I had opportunities in Colorado. The people of Fort Collins themselves were breathtakingly nice. I mean, every single person we asked for directions was genuinely nice with zero attitude. If you ask anyone in Massachusetts for directions, expect a middle finger… The atmosphere was so much more positive for my mental health here, it was a breath of fresh air. I think what really sealed the deal for me was the campus tour. Walking out of the Lory Student Center and seeing that expanse of green grass open up to a look out of the Foothills made me fall in love with the campus. I love the mountains, and seeing that view was the final push I needed to leave behind Massachusetts, and come here to start over.

How did you to decide to study English?
Growing up, I was always a bookworm. I would hide in my room for days, escaping from reality in a good book. Eating and sleeping weren’t an option anymore at those points. It was all about finishing the book, or as many chapters as I could. Well, reading was just one way for me to run away from the outside world. Reading took me to a whole new world. Reading taught me how to keep going in reality too. I have encountered many quotes which have given me strength and courage to keep living during some of my most difficult times.

Without really even knowing it, so many authors had changed my life. Writers are creators of inspiration and life. I wanted to emulate this, and give back to the world what the world of English had done for me. Whether it’s teaching literature or some day publishing my own creative works, I just hope to change at least one persons life. The pen is mightier than the sword, and just a few words can be worth more than winning the lottery. Words change lives, at least they changed mine, and it’s so crazy and beautiful. I want to dissect all the pieces of literature I can, absorb all the beautiful imagery to the full capacity of my brain, learn from the greats and spread the wealth of what words can do for the human mind.

What is your favorite genre to read? What about to write?
Vaguely speaking, my favorite genre to read is fiction. Specifically, young adult fiction, romance fiction, horror fiction, and domestic fiction. Of course I love a good non-fiction about my favorite musicians or writers however.

I used to think my favorite genre to write was fiction. Then I thought it was poetry. Now I’m exploring creative non-fiction. I think poetry will always be my rock though.

What is your favorite quote?
“You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.” ~John Greene, Looking for Alaska

How would you describe Eddy in one word?