I am very fortunate to work two jobs I love.
Aside from writing articles like this, I’m also a tour guide on campus. This means a few things. Among them, I have more Boise State fun facts and dad jokes ingrained into my memory than I care to admit, and I answer a lot of questions about what it’s like to be a student.
Some questions are more memorable than others. But perhaps one of the most memorable was a question I was asked during a tour that I gave in the dead of this previous winter. It was a cold Monday afternoon as I walked a sizable group in and out of various heated buildings across campus.
A prospective student asked me a question I hadn’t really thought about before as we made our way out of the Student Recreation Center, “What’s your favorite season here at Boise State?”
I didn’t respond to her immediately. There are things I love about every season on campus. I love the cozy atmosphere of winter and watching snow fall, and the first sunny days of springtime hanging out in the park, and all of the outdoor recreation in summer.
But, “If I had to pick one season,” I told the prospective student and her family, “it would have to be autumn. Especially the first month and a half of fall semester.”
“Why is that?” her mom asked.
“Well,” I remember myself replying, “the start of fall semester is just the perfect equinox of everything.”
I noticed most families in the group had their eyes on me, waiting for an answer.
I went on to tell her—and everyone else—how much fun there is to be had in those early weeks of fall semester, right on the cusp of summer and fall. I told them about how my friends and I would walk across Friendship Bridge and through Julia Davis Park in the evening to grab ice cream downtown and by the time we walked back, it would be the perfect time to catch the sunset.
And, at the very start of fall semester, it’s still hot enough to float the Boise River and hangout near the water. I told them how I met some of my best friends in college during my first year at Boise State just by floating the river with other people living on my floor and hammocking down by the Greenbelt, watching floaters and fishermen and paddle boarders cruise down the water in the hot afternoon sun.
I told them about all the excitement and freshness of the start of the new year. Of all the opportunities there are to meet new people and get involved. Annual staples like Movie Night on the Blue and the Splatter Party and the general buzz around campus, everyone excited to be back and together after the summer off — a potent energy. A desire to learn, and do, and come together.
And, of course, I told them about football; those first few games of the season, when it’s still eighty-ish degrees outside and warm enough to wear shorts and a Bronco t-shirt. I told them one of my favorite games of all time was, again, during my first year on a Saturday evening when my friends and I had spent the morning walking around the Farmer’s Market in downtown Boise before going out to eat in the afternoon. Afterwards, we walked over to Alberson’s Stadium at gametime. I’ll never forget being in the depths of the student section and the goosebumps shooting up and down my arms as my side of the stadium hollered, “BOISE” and our yell was returned with, “STATE” from the opposite side of the Blue Turf. It was that moment I truly realized I was in a very, very special place and couldn’t have been more content with where I was at that point in time and life.
I told them about late September, when the City of Trees starts to change color. I told them about how it feels like you’re the main character when you’re biking around town along tree-lined streets with orange-brown leaves flowing in the breeze, and that perfect song comes on, giving you the picturesque feeling you didn’t know you needed.
I was going to continue on with all I love about the start of fall semester, when I quickly realized I had walked the tour group half a mile down University Drive. I forgot to give my transportation monologue and I completely abandoned my story about how I was so nervous during one of my first tours at Boise State, I walked backwards into a light pole (it’s way funnier now than it was at the time!).
“Wow,” I remember one of the parents saying. “you must be bummed you only have one fall semester left!”
And it was that moment I came to the stark realization they were right: I only had one. Fall. Semester. Left. And at first, there was a little sadness that I was beginning the end of my journey. But sadness quickly turned to excitement at the opportunity before me.
In these next few weeks, I can enjoy this time period more than I ever have before. Make more memories that will one day make great stories to tell. Take more photos to add to my college photo albums. Make more jokes my friends and I can still laugh at as we get older and live life beyond our time in college. All set in the perfect early fall backdrop.
And I think you should too. Let’s live this and every season to the absolute fullest. Throw up your arms, look around at all of your friends and this beautiful campus and vibrant city, and enjoy every moment this season has to offer.