Top 10 ways to enjoy fall

Erratic weather changes, debilitating workload can’t hinder your autumnal joy

1. Layer your definitively adorable clothes

With the temperature jumping up and down every day with a yoyo-like tendency, you could be freezing in the morning as you dazedly speed-walk to your 8 a.m. and sweating by the time you’re free from classes. Sure, mornings are a hectic time — you’re happy if you even remember to put in your contacts, let alone check the weather — but there’s always time to grab a sweater. Your comfort must come first. Besides — you might actually be able to pay attention in class if you aren’t so focused on how frosty you are. On the other hand, you’ll be very relieved to have the option of removing that sweater when you’re crossing Grounds in a sweat to get to your 2 p.m. class.  

2. Take a nap on the Lawn

Yes, I’ve done this, and yes, I’m quite sure I looked homeless while doing it — though who cares when you’re that comfortable? It’s such a time-saver to skip trekking all the way back to your humble abode when your energy drops off midday. Besides — I know this is probably not scientifically backed, but I think sunlight really does give you more energy. We’re all just little plants, and we need to soak up the sun. Take a break to photosynthesize and sleep, all at the same time. You may have leaves in your hair and all over your clothes afterwards, but maybe people will just think you’re super seasonal.

3. Study in an autumnal haven

The upstairs of Starbucks is a fall wonderland. Please, take advantage of the fall vibes and read by the warm fire in a comfy chair. Be warned though — it is heavily air-conditioned, so you might also need a fuzzy sweater to snuggle up in. Any study space that has windows could also envelop you in fall comfort. Clemons, Alderman and Clark all offer a place of refuge from the sporadic weather while also providing a glimpse of Grounds enlivened with the lightly toasted foliage of fall.

4. Enjoy a soothing, warm beverage

It is finally the season in which I can order my coffee hot without feeling the shame of a quizzical look from the barista — it’s considered a sin not to order iced coffee when it’s blazing outside. Now you can warm your frosted hands with a climate-appropriate hot drink. Fall flavors are in full swing as well — order an unabashedly seasonal drink and revel in the coziness of your comfort.

5. Listen to abrasively acoustic music

I tend to listen to acoustic music year-round, but it feels particularly appropriate when the leaves are falling along with the temperature. There’s an “Autumn Acoustic” playlist on Spotify that makes me immediately want to be in a pumpkin patch or in the middle of a fall-steeped forest. I like to listen to music while I walk because it distracts me from the horror of moderate exercise, and I find this music to be particularly comforting as I climb graduated incline after graduated incline.

6. Venture outside

The outdoors is hard to avoid since we are forced to walk from class to class. However, the real outdoors — I’m talking lots of trees, plants, maybe a random cabin or lumberjack somewhere in the picture — can actually be kind of pleasant. While my natural disdain for the wilderness is completely justified, fall is the one season that subsumes my bitterness and impels me to wander around in the picturesque oasis that is nature. To be quite fair, I think my overall repulsion of the outdoors is mutual considering an acorn fell on me, not once, but twice. The indoors wouldn’t do me like that.

7. Live the dreams of a clichéd Instagram fanatic

Beginning sometime around late September, it is literally impossible to open any social media without seeing someone in a pumpkin patch or idyllic park. Captions like, “Leaf it to you to be the best ever!” and, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!” flood my screen and fill me with emotions of slight disdain and mild envy. While I’m outwardly rolling my eyes, internally my fall-bewitched heart melts just a little bit. If you choose to embrace the cliché, there are plenty of hiking trails, pumpkin patches and ’Gram-worthy places all over Grounds. If you don’t favor the overdone — yet classically pleasing — Instagrams, you can at least enjoy being sardonically amused by them.

8. Apple pick your problems away

I personally have never experienced apple picking. I know — it’s tragic, but I’ve heard good things. If you don’t choose to actually put in the physical effort of picking the apples, first of all — kudos to you. Second of all, they sell apple-entrenched foods that will surely fulfill all of your fall dreams. Even the mere idea of apple picking is so aggressively seasonal that it seems like something you just have to do.  

9. Revel in the heroic return of your academic success

It’s been a bumpy ride, but you’re definitely bouncing back. Whether you’re still taking midterms, writing papers or coasting your way to finals, your grades are most certainly equilibrating from their tragic fall to their phoenix-like rise. If they aren’t yet, they will soon! Use the catalytic energy of fall to return your grades to where they belong.

10. Have a happy Halloween

You didn’t think I would forget about the most exciting thing to happen at the University since fall break, did you? Halloween blazes into existence on Grounds with the flare of Mariah Carey on New Year’s Eve. Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn is such a hallmark event that I distinctly remember being enticed into coming to this University with hazy pictures of candy and adorable children — not to sound creepy. Haunted houses, costume parties, horror movies — what’s not to love?                  

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