Today is the first day of classes at the University of Queensland, and the start of the academic year. The campus population has increased many times from just a few weeks ago. This morning after I dropped off Will at 9:00, I had to search hard for a parking spot that ended up being triple the distance away from where I usually park. Students are crowding the campus sidewalks so much that I was forced to walk in the street or a flower bed several times. I just tried to walk down a hallway where students were waiting to get into a lecture theatre and ended up crashing into a couple who were trying to find the right room number. But, despite their intrusion on this otherwise peaceful campus, I always enjoy the reappearance of students after the summer break. They all look so excited and especially nice (showing everyone their latest outfits), and they seem so full of hope that this will be their ideal semester, whatever that ideal is.
I started my own university studies in August 1981. I have always been on a university campus every year since, so that means this is the 28th time I have seen the beginning of another academic year. Today's first-year students were mostly born in 1990 or '91, when I was still in graduate school and the first George Bush was still the president. Time flies.