There's something so obviously romantic and refreshing about warmer weather in the Spring after a long Winter that just wakes people up around the valley. Though the last few days have been a bit spotty with random rain showers and dips in the temperature, the weather has definitely improved for the long haul. The students at UMass couldn't be happier.
Everywhere you look you see people riding bikes, people walking, rather than riding the bus to campus, and people outdoors doing anything. Whiffle ball, baseball and football catch, basketball, and a number of beer-related outdoor drinking events have been taking up the students time in the last week. My street has become a strip of outdoor parties, games, and celebrations as the students are ready to stretch their legs again. It's a great time to be here at UMass.
It's something I missed last year. And I truly did miss it. Though I had an earlier spring in Spain, I knew well enough that having to deal with the harsh New England Winter just makes you appreciate the Spring that much more. People really come to life at UMass when the weather gets warmer.
At any time of day you can look out at the Student Union or the front of the library and see dozens of people hanging out on the grass, climbing trees, or sitting near the pond. Even teachers get into it, allowing classes to take place in the sun. Walking by Bartlett Hall you might find 30 people sitting in an awkward circle. They could be discussing Neruda, or maybe just the merits of a cool breeze in the shade.
Regardless, it's something that I'll miss greatly when I leave the valley for good. I can't say when or in what capacity I'll be back in Amherst after I graduate, but I know that it won't be the same as being a student. That sense of reckless youth, in which you can blow off your classes and just sit outside until the sun goes down, then go out all night, can only be done correctly at one point in a lifetime. And if you do it well, you won't need to do it again.
More than just the flowers bud in the Spring, here at UMass. The creativity that makes this campus great also begins to flourish again. The energy comes back and positive attitudes return. In a town like Amherst, where so many of the residents are between the ages of 18-35, it's something that can rarely be reproduced anywhere else. Maybe we graduate in the Spring because, like nature intends, it's time for us to get out of the house and get a move on. Life is outside the door.