Thinking caps and party pants

English: A vector image of a mortar board hat.

With the passing of another glorious summer, we have probably all had to put on our thinking caps instead of our party pants, but as surprising as it may sound, I am a bit relieved that classes are starting again. After all, too much of a good thing—like summer break—can easily become a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong; I like summer as much as anyone else.  It’s a perfect time to relax and pursue other things like jobs or personal goals. Whether you are working 40 hours a week or just bumming around the country, there is something magical about summer, kind of like Christmas.It allows us to recuperate from a stressful year of work and school, and gives us time to pursue other things in life. However, summer is almost four months long, which is a quarter of an entire year, and that is plenty of time to form bad habits.For example, waking up at 2 p.m. is all right once in awhile, but doing it everyday just becomes inconvenient, and not to mention irresponsible. It is easy to do when you don’t have class or any other major priorities, but after awhile, you just don’t feel great about yourself.

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For example, my first class on Wednesday is at 2 p.m., but that doesn’t mean I’ll be crawling out of bed at 1:30 p.m. to make it on time. Sleeping is cool, but I can definitely think of better things to do.

Speaking of better things to do than sleep, I’ll discuss an important college pastime: partying.  Everyone likes to have fun, and there is no greater way to do it than gathering with friends and sharing beverages.

Keep in mind that there is no scholarship or job awarded to “the best partier”. Just because you have a whole summer with nothing to do doesn’t mean that you can pull shenanigans all day every day.

Where summer tends to feel long after a few weeks of tomfoolery, weekends during the school year almost always feel too short. Although this is a disappointment, it is probably for the best. Weekends act as a safety valve to let us loosen up, but every Sunday evening we all know we have a hard week ahead. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Thursdays are an appropriate amount of time to recuperate before facing a gauntlet of weekday classes.

Something else that inevitably comes along with school starting up is the return of all those dreaded papers, projects and tests.  While it may not be fun memorizing for an anatomy test or scouring documents for a thesis on a term paper, it feels incredibly good to earn an A on something that you really applied effort towards.  A week of hard work always leaves you feeling more fulfilled than, say, a week of sleeping-in and partying.

Okay, enough about tests and papers for now. I’ll tell you what is hands-down the best part of school starting back up.  First off, when summer starts a good chunk of your friends will probably return home to continue a job, or to live with their parents in an effort to momentarily avoid getting a job.

Kids that stay in Fort Collins over the summer probably notice how dead the town gets when school lets out. The bars are noticeably emptier and the neighborhoods are quiet.  “You Honk We Drink” signs disappear. It is almost eerie.

However, when mid-August hits, roommates and old friends return from internships, or home, or wherever they were over the summer, and the Fort Collins I know and love returns along with all of these people.

Campus fills back up with familiar faces, the bars get rowdy, and your neighbors start blasting Black Sabbath in the backyard again. There is a general buzz of energy in the city in mid-August. Everything just seems to fall into place.

So here we are on the first Friday of the year. The weekend is at our fingertips. Everyone is back in town and ready to go. Summer was awesome, but it’s over and now there is work to be done and goals to be accomplished. Don’t worry though, there are 17 beautiful weekends sprinkled throughout this semester.

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Counting Friday-Sunday and the random Thursday, I can estimate that there will be 51 days of premium escape from class. That is basically a month and a half break right there. Although I’m glad to be back in school, I’m also extremely glad today is Friday.

Quinn Scahill is a senior English major. His columns appear Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.