I’m no longer in school. In the month leading up to my graduation from Appalachian State, I couldn’t wait for that to be the case; I wanted nothing more than to be done with organized academics and on to the next great adventure. I’m not in school anymore, but I do remember how much fun this time of year was. As the teeth begin to fall out of the wind, and winter softens into spring, there’s an excitement in the air on Franklin Street. At the time of posting, a few students are taking their last exams of the semester, looking over their answer sheets at the bright possibilities that await in the long, all-too-fast months of summer.
College basketball is over, and Carolina unfortunately lost the last game that any team could. The NFL Draft has come and gone, and four former Tar Heels are headed to try their luck at the next level. The College World Series is still a month away, and the Diamond Heels are not currently projected to get a chance to head back to Omaha. (For the record, that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to go to Boshamer; even if Carolina is slumping, it’s a lovely place to spend an evening and the college baseball season is fleeting).
As the school year finishes, the students begin to trickle out of Chapel Hill; Linda’s gets a little more quiet, and the traffic lights on Franklin cycle a little more slowly due to the reduced foot traffic. I’ve been very lucky to get to witness the way the year turns over the Southern part of heaven for the entirety of my life; the ebbs and flows of life in a college town are something I’ve never had to live without.
It’s a unique time, with the ending of the school year, the winding down of college athletics, and the beginning of a period of anticipation; for students sweating through their last finals and looking forward to an endless summer that will doubtlessly fly by; for most college athletes beginning an offseason full of work and hopeful improvement; for fans, it’s a lull that is pregnant with possibilities—the men’s basketball team are preseason #1 after returning four of the Iron Five that carried them almost all the way, and news from Kenan Stadium will be rolling in before we know it.
It’s a quiet time, but a really great time to be a fan regardless. There are months ahead of lovely spring and summer days and, as we all know, any day is a good day to be a Tar Heel.