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Every year, summer speeds by and as the new school year gets closer and closer, people of all ages dread the first day and sulk through their final days of summer vacation. Children grumble about having to wake up early; some parents weep at the thought of sending their babies off to college, others cringe when they remember that they will soon have to begin packing their kids’ lunches again. I think it’s safe to say that most people are not a fan of the last week of summer. However, the week before school begins is one of my favorite weeks of year!

When August begins, everything seems to become so hectic. For me, the first week of August is filled with soccer practice every morning and every night, making it nearly impossible for me to do anything but sleep in between the two daily practices. It’s an exhausting week, but once the second week hits I can’t help but relax as the dynamic changes. My schedule is still full but with more activities than just soccer. Of course, I still have practice most nights and an occasional scrimmage leading up to our first game. It’s an exciting time for me as I get to see how my team is coming together in our preparation for this season.

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Getting back into soccer season is a sure sign school is around the corner!

Two of my favorite school events occur in the last week of summer every year! As an incoming freshman, I was very nervous for high school orientation, just like any freshman would be, but it wasn’t that bad and ever since my sophomore year I have enjoyed volunteering at Liberty-Benton’s New Student Orientation night. Personally, I find it fun getting to show new students around my high school and answer any questions they may have; plus, they give you cookies at the end. Who doesn’t like cookies? Prior to going to Liberty Benton High School, I went to St. Michael’s from kindergarten to 8th grade. SMS hosts their Meet the Teacher and Ice Cream Social the Sunday before the first day of school. When I was younger, I always looked forward to meeting my teacher, seeing my classroom, and finding out where my desk was located in the room. I may have graduated from SMS but I go back with my family each year since my brother still attends the school and get to visit my old teachers. Oh and there’s Dietsch’s ice cream which is pretty great, too!

Being that I’m a teenage girl, a vital part of the end of summer is going back to school shopping. My mom and I will find a day in the last week of summer to go buy new clothes and the supplies I will need for the upcoming school year. Downtown Findlay is a must!  Trends on Main for an outfit or two, then RooBarb for a planner of notebook, and lunch at Logan’s round out the day.

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Hot Air Balloons dot the sky, a perfect celebration of the last week of summer.

Perhaps the best part of the final week of summer, or at least in my opinion, is Findlay’s Balloonfest. People get so excited for this event- myself included. Every year, I see so many posts and pictures on social media of people watching the balloons take off, fly, and land. As luck would have it, most years I can see the hot air balloons from my deck. One year the Phoenix balloon landed in my neighborhood! The pilot let me, along with many of the other kids from the neighborhood, get into the basket. It was such a cool experience! 

Now I’m off to start my SENIOR year!  Wonder what I’ll mark off my Findlay bucket list before I head off to college?  Check back and see!

This blog post was written by Visit Findlay blogger Olivia Christiansen.  Olivia is a Senior at Liberty Benton, soccer player, and lover off all things pineapple.  That isn’t much, is it?  Learn more about Olivia and read her other posts here!