If it has been feeling a bit empty in Santa Cruz lately, don't worry, it wont for long. The university starts up in just over a week and soon the city, sparsely occupied campus, will be overrun with new and returning students.
The bustle of students to and from classes, the constant work of suited professors, and the array of activities around campus helps UCSC feel like a university. It's lively, invigorating, and (usually) mentally stimulating. However, due to the campus' isolation from the city, when it is emptied for summer vacation it can feel more like a nature preserve than a university.
This is especially true with the wildlife on campus. Deer roam freely during the summer, through the different colleges and around dormitories. Within a week of school starting the number of deer easily seen on campus will drop considerably as they shy away from the explosion of students. That is not to say that there will not be any deer, but they will not have the run of the place as they seem to in June through September.
Squirrels too seem bolder than they do during the school year, occupying empty fields and seldom visited trees. Soon all that will change, as banana slugs young and old will once again take over campus.
So I encourage all of you to enjoy the campus before it changes. Hike upper campus before the drum circles begin, explore the porter caves before the first rains and floods of freshman get to them, look out at the view from the west fields and look for wildlife before they retreat back to the forest.
As for me, I can't wait for school to begin, but I'm not quite ready for opportunities of summer to be over.