Your community is a college town when…

  • Sofas and couches are considered roadside artwork and/or a front porch decoration.



  • Mascot(s) seem to appear from out of nowhere at every venue.
  • Beer consumption exceeds water consumption.
  • The drinking age is only a guideline.
  • The first really warm day of spring is a de facto national holiday (at least for most men).
  • There are lots of student planning projects gathering dust on the shelves in the local library and town hall.
  • Some in town frown on the gowns
  • Lee Corso dons a goofy hat or football helmet just before noon, on a fall Saturday, to the collective cheers or jeers of the local gridiron faithful.



  • Student housing is sadly considered a dirty word among some.
  • Traffic accidents spike the first few weeks of the fall semester.
  • Beer pong is the official sport, while football is simply entertainment.
  • Not a single road on campus is spared from construction during the summer months.
  • Free wi-fi is virtually everywhere.
  • Parking tickets per capita exceed the national debt.
  • Pajamas are a fashion statement 24/7.
  • Successfully completing NIMBY 101 is a requirement of permanent residency.
  • More than half of the population scatters to the wind in the summer.
  • Transit ridership is much higher than the national average (a really good thing).
  • You hear more languages being spoken than at the United Nations (a good thing).
  • The schools are expected to be excellent (a good thing).
  • Your kids have the benefit of learning about other cultures first hand (a really good thing).
  • There are ample opportunities to experience the arts, events, and cultural activities more often found in much larger communities (a very good thing).
  • Pizza is considered a well-rounded diet.
  • Some sinister mastermind(s) of traffic congestion decides to the hold the local high school homecoming the same weekend as the local college homecoming – yes that has happened here in East Lansing!
  • Everyone is on double-secret probation!
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7 Responses to Your community is a college town when…

  1. Erik says:

    So what you’re telling me is that college towns are probably the best all around towns to live in?

    Also, you can add when there are separate places for the “townies” to go to and others where the “kids” go to.

    Don’t forget the record/bong shop. Those are a pre-req.

    One of your parks is dedicated to “frisbee golf” (see above for reason)


  2. You know it’s a college town when you can ride your bicycle anywhere you want to because everybody else is jammed into the football stadium on game day.


  3. Pity the poor city planning director who has yet one more class of critics with whom to contend: local college or university profs who think they know more about planning that him or her (& sometimes even might).


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