Students may seem like headache to Champaign, but there are benefits

Just when you thought the city of Champaign was catering to your needs to the fullest of its abilities, the dreaded phrase “they’re back” is uttered citywide, maybe giving you some of the biggest headaches known to college-town mankind.

But students aren’t all bad.

College students love resume building. What does that mean? It means volunteering. Have some extra yard work that you just can’t get to? Feeling not up to par healthwise and unable to complete the daily tasks needed? Fear not because there are many different volunteer groups on campus willing to “give back” to the community, which is what the university preaches to the student body.

The stereotype in central Illinois says that we are a bunch of closed-minded rednecks, while the University continually brings in a wide variety of people from all over the world. This provides people of central Illinois who subscribe with this stereotype the opportunity to become a little more tolerant of people different from us.

Again, students are encouraged to immerse themselves in the community; therefore, it is all too frequent that you will meet someone from a different part of the world. Instead of taking the time to dismiss their uniqueness, embrace it. Learn from others and their experiences. The students who come to our great university provide great opportunities for personal growth and tolerance of others who may be different from you.

Own a business? Hire jobless students who are crazy desperate for any kind of work, no matter how meager. Take advantage of the fact that students live off of ramen and cheap beer. When their money runs out, that is — if their parents’ bank accounts are not on speed dial, where do they get their money from? That’s right, minimum wage jobs. Many students out there will do about anything, from making burritos to cleaning toilets. In the end, it will only cost you a miniscule amount, while you will look better for providing students with opportunities for work off campus.

Like sports? Without the students there would be no Fighting Illini pride at all because there wouldn’t be any students to play the sports. Students make the sporting activities around town much more fun and exciting. Imagine going to a football or basketball game without any students. Unbearable, right? As much as students may make our daily routines a headache, they make our University pride so easy to maintain, no matter the team’s record.

If you are ever annoyed with the student population at a football game, ask yourself this while imagining a studentless arena: Would you want to see your own middle-aged, stranger-to-the-gym parents with their chests painted, while screaming at the top of their lungs acting a fool? Probably not.

As a townie, I can fully admit students can be the biggest ache in my day to day routine. In the end, and more so because I am now a student, we should all take a moment to appreciate students for what they provide to the community. Because in the end, can you really imagine Champaign without them?