The spring semester at Parkland College and the University of Illinois are just about over, with commencements on May 12th and 15th, respectively. With the end of the academic year and graduation, Champaign-Urbana bids farewell (at least temporarily) to thousands of young people. We couldn’t be more excited.

Picking on students is really easy — they are the low hanging fruit in “complaints about C-U.” Is it fair? No, not really. Do we jest with love and appreciation for their enthusiasm and contributions to our community? Yes, absolutely. So, bear with us as we welcome the quiet of C-U summer, and delight in the things that are easier now that they are gone. 

Ah, Green Street eateries, how we have missed you! Here at SP, we are particularly fond of Shawarma Joint, which feels completely inaccessible when students are on campus. We can’t wait to grab some gyros and rice bowls and falafel. We’re also looking forward to chic dinners at Sakanaya, where waiting for a table won’t feel so fraught, and a stroll down Green Street won’t feel like being herded with the masses. 

NuEra’s Green Street location will be less crowded, making it an easier stop on the way home from work for some things that will make being home from work even more enjoyable

Parking in and around campus will also be less chaotic; there are fewer people to avoid on foot, bike, skateboard, or hoverboard. 

Speaking of bikes, we look forward to using VeoRide bikes because we want to, not just because they are blocking our sidewalks and driveways. 

They will be fun to ride to Downtown Champaign, where we can finally make use of both indoor and patio seating at Blind Pig and Quality, now that many graduate students have left the area for the summer. (They really do love mug club.)

The end of the academic year also marks the end of most public-facing NCAA sports and all the cacophony they bring: massive crowds on campus, traffic, packed bars and restaurants. 

We think of our relationship with college students like one with little niblings: You are so very happy and fulfilled to have them in your life, but you are eternally grateful for the opportunity to give them back to their parents and recover in peace for a little while. Soon enough, you can’t wait to welcome them back with open arms. 

Congratulations to all of the graduating young adults in C-U. We can’t wait to see the rest of you in August. 

The Editorial Board is Jessica Hammie, Julie McClure, Patrick Singer, and Mara Thacker.

Top image from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Facebook page.