Unbeknownst to those who leave, college towns change a lot when summer comes. For those who are left behind, like myself, to experience this change, a few thoughts come to mind when you are waiting for everyone to return and the city to return to normal. Here are six of them that, in my 21 years of calling my college town home, I have thought from time to time, as told by Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
1. "Traffic Is SO Much Better Now."
If you are from a large college town, this definitely applies to you. There is no more relieving feeling than seeing normally stopped-up, full lanes of traffic whittled down to near-emptiness. It is nice to be able to make your 30-minute commutes through campus roads in half the time—so nice, you will feel a bit sad once the student body returns in the fall.
2. "I Wonder What My High School Friends Are Up To."
With the start of summer comes the return of a lot of old friends. For college students living in their college towns, these friends become go-to friends for social interaction and fun. There is nothing quite like catching up and reliving memories with them around your old stomping grounds. If you are struggling with your college friends leaving town, take the time apart to rekindle the friendships you made before. You may just have a lot of fun in the process!
3. "Is There Anything To Do Around Here?"
College towns often shut down in the "off-season" of summer. They know most of their traditional customers are gone, and because of that, they switch to more tame versions of themselves. If you are one of those who just so happen to call a college town your home, this means you might find yourself wondering just what there is to do. A lot. Do you go out in hopes you may find the one exciting venue not suffering from the summer lull in action, or do you stay home and try to binge your next Netflix show in your pajamas? The question may be harder to answer than you'd imagine.
4. "Do I Live At Home...Or My Apartment?"
Your home is not far from campus, and it holds your family, your pets, and your old room. Your apartment is on campus, and it holds your new room, your freedom, and potentially your roommates. The decision on which to stay at throughout the summer is tough, especially when you are paying rent and really miss your family and pets. In the end, a happy medium between the two may be needed in order to satisfy your parents' needs to see you but also make your rent money well spent.
5. "The Restaurants Are All MINE!"
Do you hate the long lines in your favorite restaurants? Well, with your fellow college students gone for the summer, you get to experience a world where those lines are virtually gone! This is not to say that restaurants go barren in the absence of college students, but the wait times certainly do go down, especially when your town is mostly made up of college students. Going to restaurants downtown during peak dinnertime hours holds a much more relaxed weight to it over summer than during the collegiate school year.
6. "Okay, Enough Of This. I Miss My Friends. When Is Everyone Coming Back???"
Despite not wanting school itself to return, you are inevitably going to miss your friends and want them to come back. Living in your college town serves as a constant reminder that they are not around, and you can grow to wonder just when they will be back to put you out of your misery. They may be far away in location, but they are close to your heart! You want to continue your fun with them! Oddly enough, this loneliness can turn into a blessing for the hometown college student in the end. Reuniting with your college friends can become all the more exciting if you've been looking forward to it all summer!