If you’ve been downtown this week then you’ve noticed that the city is packed, the students are back and Boston is buzzing.



After surviving the chaos that is Sept. 1, we are now in the best month of the year, when the weather is perfect and the city is energized after a quiet summer.


However, as anyone who has ever lived in Brighton knows, September is definitely not a quiet month.


Students are packing Boylston Street bars, PBR pyramids stand proud (and precariously) inside Comm Ave. apartments and every house on Pratt Street is cranking their speakers to “11.” But, before you send a noise complaint to the BPD, let’s compute why this is all sweet music to our ears.

According to the BRA, Boston alone has 35 colleges and universities that enroll 152,000 students -- ­ 34 percent of Massachusetts’ total college enrollment. Those 35 colleges in Boston employ over 42,600 people and the 152,000 students spend approximately $1.7 billion a year in Boston. That's $1.7 billion per year!

Include Cambridge in the equation and the number of colleges students swells to 250,000 -- that's ­ 250,000 students who spend billions and billions of dollars per year in the city.

This weekend marks the first party weekend of the school year. There will be tailgates at Boston College, parties at MIT frats, insanity in Allston and packs of freshmen trying to get into all of them.

But, before you file a complaint on Citizen Connect please remember that the Boston economy is strong thanks in part to those students who are just celebrating being back in Boston.

Welcome back, students! Welcome back!

By the numbers

Here's a breakdown of how many students attend the bigger Boston colleges:

Boston University: 33,747
Harvard: 28,147
Northeastern: 21,257
UMass Boston: 15,741
Boston College: 14,400

Tom O'Keefe is@BostonTweetand the founder of#DownloadBoston, a local movement to increase the awareness of Boston-based consumer start-ups.