Erinn Hayes, who plays a devoted girlfriend in CBS's new fall comedy Worst Week, takes us back to her University of Colorado days, when she studied hard, played harder, and napped just about anywhere she could.
Name: Erinn Hayes
College attended: University of Colorado at Boulder
Major: Bachelors of fine art in performance
Graduation date: 1998
Grew up: Just north of San Francisco
Favorite drink/midnight snack: My friend worked at a deli, and we would go in after the bars closed, and she would make us gravy cheese fries. It is not the diet of a Hollywood actress, strictly reserved for college students.
What did you like most and least about your school?
I think the setting was something I liked the most. Boulder is an incredible town. Every season changes so dramatically with the weather and the things you're able to do outside.
I don't know if I have a least. There was nothing I really didn't like about it.
Name one thing you tried for the first time while in college
I did try a buffalo burger once, and it was delicious, but it was pretty creepy eating the school mascot.
What was the biggest obstacle you overcame while there?
Time management is so tricky, especially in the theater program. When you were in production, you'd spend three to four hours there after all your classes at night rehearsing, and then you'd have all of your schoolwork to do. And there was a lot of beer to be drunk.
There's a lot of things you need to do in college, and I really tried to do them all. That was the hardest obstacle. I think I overcame it with my ability to nap anywhere. I would just catch up on the sleep I missed anywhere I could. I would manage to find small couches and tiny little nooks.
How did you choose your major?
I've always known that I wanted to act. I knew I wanted to do it in college and it would be my major. I didn't choose the school for the theater department; I kind of lucked into this great B.F.A. program. I basically chose the school because I wanted to get out of California and snowboard. We had season passes every year and went every weekend we could.
What activities did you do while you were there?
I pretty much lived in the theater department. I tried to play volleyball when I first went there. I'm going to say that I was sick the week I did tryouts and that's why I didn't make the team, but you could probably chalk it up to just plain not good enough. Other than that, I was a theater lady.
Do you keep in touch with any of your college friends?
I do, a lot of them. There's a big contingency of the graduates of the theater program out here in Los Angeles, and we've formed quite a tight group. And my three best friends in the world were my college roommates.
Were you a bookworm or a slacker?
Can I be a slacker bookworm? I always got it done, and I took my schoolwork very seriously. I enjoyed it, but I did tend to put it off to the last minute. So it always seemed like I was writing a paper while all my other roommates were having a party, which was hard when you live in the basement underneath hardwood floors.
Who was your role model when you were in college?
I think my role models have always been my friends, the people I'm close to, to see them go through hard stuff or succeed or not. I've never been a really strong "Oprah was my role model" type of person. It's always been people I'm close to, like my parents or my older brother or close friends.
Tell us about one thing you did in college that still makes you proud.
I am proud of my work in the theater department. . . . It was a challenging program. We had great teachers and talented students.
I'm also proud that I was able to experience everything that Boulder had to offer. I studied hard, I played hard, I worked a job, and I was able to take advantage of a lot of opportunities.
Tell us one way in which college changed you.
I think it made me realize that I could be a self-sufficient human. It's the first time you're out of your parents' house for most people, and it's a whole new experience. You're out on your own, but you still have that safety net.
I think [of] that summer that I stayed in between junior and senior year and worked as a beer-car girl at a golf course. I took it easy, hung out with friends, and just lived out on my own. That was the first time, really, without being in school, I was just living on my own, and that was a big realization for me that I could do it and be OK.
If you could go back, what about college would you do differently?
I wasted a lot of time taking Spanish classes, like Spanish literature, because I really enjoyed it in high school and I was a big Spanish nerd. Then I got to a certain level where everyone was Spanish majors, and I wasn't, and they didn't offer a minor. I think that's why I had to stay an extra semester.
But I had a good time. I wouldn't do much different.
What was your favorite hangout spot?
There was a coffee shop called Prufrock's Café. We hung out there a lot. And then there was this Chinese restaurant and bar called K's China. It was a rooftop bar, so it was the best place in the world to go on a sunny day after classes. And one of my friends was a bartender, so even better.