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There have been large groups of guys walking around campus lately, and I realized the other day the NAU football team is back. Then, the thought of the first day of school came to mind.

I cringe at the thought of the influx of students that will soon start to converge on Flagstaff. The peace and quiet of the summer, gone. The free time, gone. The pleasant emptiness of campus and downtown, gone.

In the beginning, I felt alone in my apartment and campus felt strange. But now that summer is on its way out, I have grown comfortable living alone, and the empty campus has been a relief. I’ll miss the quiet.

Eighteen more days until the first day of school.

As more and more days in August pass, more and more people who have been MIA all summer have slowly been coming back to life. I’m having meetings lined up, staff retreats to plan at The Lumberjack and issues I’ve put aside rising to the top of my mind now.

My friend just bought school supplies because she doesn’t want to shop when all the freshmen move in and everyone swarms Target. She’s smart, and that got me thinking I need to do the same. And buy my books. And organize my life.

I’m just not too sure I want to part ways with summer yet. I wish there was more time to have fun because this summer flew by. I didn’t exactly accomplish everything on my summer bucket list, but I did learn a lot about myself and that is a win.

Probably 15 days from now the streets will be flooded with cars stuffed with dorm decor and piles of clothes. Milton will be a place to avoid. Also, now that The Hub is here, that whole area on Beaver Street will be crowded with families and students trying to move in the weekend before school starts. I can just imagine the narrow streets being occupied by minivans and SUVs, students piling their belongings into carts to take up to their rooms.

A word of advice: Everyone stay in your houses and apartments that weekend.  

I don’t want school to start, but I know I’ll like keeping busy with classes again and The Lumberjack. That’s what I tried to do over the summer. For a college student, or anyone with dreams and ambitions, it is very dangerous to become idle. It’s nice, and actually needed sometimes, to take vacations. It’s important to give time to yourself and reflect, but don’t get seduced by the lure of relaxing.

I heard somewhere that your body needs two weeks to fully relax from a fast-paced and stressful life. And I feel like this is accurate because if all I did was lie on a beach for two weeks, I think I would kind of miss having to do stuff. So when everyone comes back from a two-and-a-half month break, they should be geared up.

I’ve been keeping busy with this column, the school newspaper and work, but I feel like I’ve been on a break too. I went fishing, roadtripping, hiking and hung out with my friends. There are no excuses for me, either. Although, getting the weekend off before school starts would be nice.

Eighteen more days to get ready for the first day of school. Time flies, so I’ll have to start preparing now. I need all the important stuff like school supplies and textbooks, but I also need a good first day of school outfit! It is my last first day of college after all.

Ariel Cianfarano is the managing editor of The Lumberjack, Northern Arizona University's student newspaper. College Chronicles aims to connect FlagLive! readers to various aspects of campus life.

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