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Can we effectively compare Columbia to empty nesters when local college students go home for the summer?

We opened the conversation up to you, and asked, “Can you relate to the sentiment of feeling like “empty nesters” when students leave for the summer?” Here’s what you said.

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Picnic or walk under the historic live oaks on the Horseshoe. | Photo via COLAtoday team

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Last week, we began to plan out summer content and chuckled thinking about Columbia potentially being an accurate metaphor for empty nesters.

We wanted to see if our readers agreed with City Editor David saying that, “Sometimes when students leave, it can feel like Columbia moves from a city to a town.”

So, we opened the conversation up to you, and asked, “Can you relate to the sentiment of feeling like “empty nesters” when students leave for the summer?”

We could sum up all of the entries with what Sally M. said — “Somewhat” — but here’s what a few more of you said:

  • “I appreciate that they’re here, but I love when they go home. The traffic gets better, and the whole dynamic of the city changes. I love it!” — Brandie M.
  • “There is something about the hustle and bustle of watching the kids going to class. Brings back memories of doing it myself! I’ll be glad for less traffic but happy to see them back in August!” — Lisa C.
  • “I LOVE it! I work at USC and getting around is so much easier. But glad to see the city fill back up in the fall (okay, sort of)” — Brandi L.
  • “Best time of the year is when all the students leave!” — Morgan B.

It seems like there’s sentiment for having both love for students while also enjoying a little more space around Columbia. So the question now becomes, what do you plan to do with all of your extra time + space this summer?
Here are a few ideas we have for you if you want to fall in love with Columbia all over again while the kids are gone.

Take up a new hobby or take a local class

Check out NoMa Warehouse’s upcoming events, throw pottery at Art on State, or get to cooking by taking private classes at Let’s Cook Culinary Studio.

Read a new book

Enjoy less competition for parking in Five Points and buy a new book from All Good Books.

Eat at restaurants you haven’t been to in a while or find a new favorite.

As Reader Jane S. says, “We will all see and feel the difference [over the summer] because a lot of the students work as servers in the restaurant industry. There will be a shortage in wait staff when we eat out.”

Read this refresher on how to properly tip in Cola. We recommend dining more in Five Points, making reservations in The Vista, and making an effort to fill in the economic revenue gaps that students leave when they go home.

Adopt or foster a local pet

If you feel like it’s a little too quiet, you want to explore local parks or walking locations, and want to help local shelters, bring home a new family member.

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