ITHACA, N.Y. — It’s that time of year again Ithacans. The quiet, calm of the summer is completely over and we are now forced to share the city with nearly 40,000 students from all over the world.

It does feel like our city gets taken away from us for a while because, well, it does. Most Ithacans deal with vomit on the sidewalk in front of their home and obnoxiously loud parties from time to time. I am definitely not looking forward to it.

But hey, there are a few good reasons that can make us truly happy about the students being back in the city.

1) Regular Business Hours

Frankly, I’m sick of showing up to my favorite shops and restaurants at an absurdly early hour, like 4 p.m., only to see that they are closed due to summer hours. And call me unreasonable, but I do sometimes want to eat food after 9 p.m. during the summer.

I get it, I get it. It’s not financially viable for businesses to stay open late to serve a small number of customers. I also know that summer time in Ithaca is majestically wonderful and do not fault small business owners for wanting to get out on trails and take a dip at one of the local watering holes. I would never suggest they do otherwise.

But I am so happy that regular business hours are back.

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2) Cool artsy stuff, fun activities

At Cornell University and Ithaca College, it’s actually part of people’s degree programs to create STUFF! Music, art, breakthroughs in science. For goodness sake, Cornell created the world’s first test tube puppies last year!! Snoop Dogg performed at Slope Day in 2005! That is just plain awesome and the locals benefit from the experience as much as the students do.

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3) They DO volunteer

If you are forced to do volunteer work as part of a degree plan or because your sorority or fraternity requires you to do so, does it really count as a “good deed?”

The answer is, well, no. It doesn’t. But it also doesn’t actually matter.

Students got to school early this year specifically to do volunteer work before the semester starts. They worked at the Ithaca Children’s Garden, visited with senior citizens, and worked cleaning donated items at the Finger Lakes Reuse, among other activities.

There are things in this city that need to get done. If students are willing to donate their time, it’s all the better for everyone.

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4) More online dating options

Not a lot of explanation needed here. If you’re single, you know why this is necessary. If you’re in a relationship……..just know it’s tough out there.

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5) Oh, yeah, and our economy

Students’ loan money or their parents’ money is oh, so sweet to our local businesses. It’s the time of year when Ithaca owned anything completely thrives financially.

And the city’s plans to accommodate the demands of students grows our workforce.

Love them, hate them, or completely try to ignore them eight months of the year, the fact remains that we need students here. So we might as well look at the bright side.

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