In a couple of months, Tallahassee will be awash with new students arriving to further their education and start planning their futures.
I don't know about you, but living in a university town does make you appreciate young people in a way one might not before.
When the "kids" as they are affectionately known in this city, return after the summer hiatus, the city changes. It's like the whole west side of Tallahassee comes alive again. Restaurants and fast food chains that were almost empty, or even closed down, are buzzing. The grocery stores are stocked up with freezers full of pizza and shelves full of Ramen noodles. And the traffic, did I mention the traffic? It's not just the traffic on the west side of town that suddenly doubles, the traffic all over town increases, and everyone notices.
But the students, and their parents, are good for the life of the city. And not just for the economy. (FSU parents love staying at the Little English Guesthouse, because only 4 miles away from campus, it's a heavenly place of peace and respite!). FSU and all its people (locally known as Seminoles) bring a vibrancy to Tallahassee that is sorely missed each summer.
There's the international factor that I love. Seminoles come from all over the world to study at FSU. Professors and other educators do too. Some come to teach for a semester (I know this, because they often stay at the Little English Guesthouse), or some are fully tenured faculty. Student thespians perform in all kinds of plays and musicals, some on campus, some off. It seems like every waiter/waitress in this town is a student. They teach schoolchildren in after school programs, and volunteer in lots of other areas, bumping up their resumes and providing valuable services that are very much needed, and hopefully, appreciated.
The life of the city changes when they are leave for the summer, and improves when they return. So, in the next couple of weeks, when you see students and their parents trying to navigate the numerous one way streets around Tallahassee, or looking lost in general, help them out. Welcome them to our Capital city and tell them how much they add to the local flavor of the place.
Because next summer, the "kids" will be gone again, and you know we'll miss them!