Whether you’ve spent the last summer under the sun, in the mountains, or in an office building, you’re likely looking forward to the beginning of the school year and all the fun that it brings.

For incoming freshman, this time is equally as exciting as it is scary as you find yourself buying everything you could ever need for your dorm and trying to meet people. You’ll be leaving home for the first time in a just a few weeks, which, for many, will be one of the biggest and best steps of your life. In the beginning of your freshman year, it is important to be as unreserved and as open to new things as you can be. You never know what kind of club, team, or niche you’ll find yourself fitting into.

For returning sophomores, it’s finally your year to climb the totem pole. You are no longer the babies of the school, and you’ve somewhat learned the ropes. You’re moving onto The Hill for the first time, giving you new freedoms the dorms did not provide. Your sophomore year is your time to truly get to know what exists in Boulder beyond campus. Living on-campus can sometimes feel like living in a bubble, but now, you’re living ten feet away from some of the best food, best hiking and best places to hang out in Boulder.

For juniors coming back to Boulder, this year is the first year as upperclassmen. You’re used to CU now, and you’ve found yourself in a routine. Many of you will consider where you may want to study abroad in the Spring, opening new, thrilling opportunities to travel the world in a way you never have before. If studying abroad is something you have the chance to do, take it and run with it. Before you know it, you’ll be standing under Big Ben in London or riding a donkey up the side of a cliff in Santorini.

For seniors, this year is the biggest year of them all. You have made your friends, you’ve found your place, and you’ve only got one year left to wrap up those remaining credits. This is the year to do it all: ski in Aspen, fly somewhere tropical for Spring Break, and attend every single home football game (maybe even some away games, too.) In your final year of college, it is crucial to absorb not only what you’ve learned in your classes, but the life lessons that living in Boulder have taught you.

The most beautiful thing about summers in college is how fleeting they truly are, and how fast the time goes in between the four years you spend at CU. It is important to reflect on what each year of your time in Boulder will mean, and how to prepare for it fully. Within the next few weeks we will be seeing fellow buffs begin to trickle in from their respective hometowns, and watch as the dorms fill up once again with excited newcomers. While we love summer and all the freedom it can bring, we truly can not wait for August 26th to come around.

Hanae is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder studying strategic communications and business administration. She is passionate about creativity in conjunction with business, which is what led her to her field of study. She grew up in Seattle, Washington, where she gained a love for the West Coast and the water. In 2014, she traded in the ocean for the mountains when she moved out to Boulder to pursue her degree. Hanae’s biggest passion is travel, and she recently studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where she spent fifteen weeks traveling to dozens of cities across Western Europe, immersing herself in exciting new cultures and atmospheres. You can find Hanae riding around town on her yellow vespa, sitting at rooftop bars with friends, or cheering on the Buffs at Folsom.