Why fall is the most relatable season

The joy of changing colors

lf19.Pauline

Pauline Povitsky is a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. 

Emma Klein | Cavalier Daily

In elementary school, the go-to “favorite season” always meant birthday season. If you’re birthday was in the spring, it was only logical that spring would be your favorite season. I used to fall into that trap as well. However, as I have gotten older, I have adapted my preferences to the “this-or-that” game. Fall or spring? I would have to choose fall.

I love fall for a variety of reasons — the crisp air, pumpkins, Halloween. It’s the season where it is a little bit more socially acceptable to play “Monster Mash” on repeat. Fall also brought us the Tim Burton masterpiece,  “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” If you don’t agree with me, check out the 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes — I mean, really, the critics have decided. 

Mostly, I love fall because this season is so relatable. Maybe fall doesn’t have itself all figured out either. Take the weather, for example. In the morning, it is freezing. Condensation gathers on the windows, the grass is bleached with frost and college students are scurrying to class to escape the chill. By noon, the sun has risen and added some much-needed heat. The warmth, mixed with the crisp air, makes me want to do my homework outside  —  even though I would probably just admire the reds and golds and yellows of the trees instead of my textbook. By nighttime, the arctic temperatures have returned.

The changing temperatures throughout the day can often remind me of the charged emotions of an 18-year-old college student, like myself. Sometimes I feel like I finally have something figured out, and then something else can remind me that nah, I probably don’t. Sometimes the stress will decrease a bit, allowing for a breath of fresh air —mind the pun — and then I realize I should probably get started on my next assignment.

For a lot of people, the entrance of fall is marked by the changing of leaves. Quintessential fall involves a diversity of colors, which always reminds me of my elementary school science class, where I basically learned that the changing of colors (the beautiful array of golds, reds and yellows) was — plot twist — death. Due to the colder temperatures, chlorophyll stops being produced, causing the leaves to lose their green pigment and eventually die. My young self was astounded. Death is beauty? Why is it that the end of a leaf’s life cycle is so beautiful and so celebrated?

This has always been something I’ve struggled with, not just with leaves as a child, but with all sorts of life changes, from moving to a new place to going to college. When I was asked if I was excited about senior year in high school, I replied, “It’s really sad. Everything’s ending.” 

In response, the girl argued, “But you should be excited! Everything’s beginning!”

As silly as it seems, the fall really allows me to take a look at the nature around me and know everything can, inevitably, be okay. Take the tree, which begins the unavoidable shutting down of a life experience in the fall. The tree can’t hesitate; it puts its entire faith in nature and the trust that spring will eventually come.

Maybe there are lessons that others, as well as myself, can take from the fall. It was inevitable that I would graduate from high school, as many conventional events in life are. For others, events like changing jobs or graduating from college may be inevitable as well. Often, it’s easy to look at the pessimistic side of things. But fall reminds me to look at the bright side and take life as it comes — sometimes, I need to look at things like a tree. Yes, graduating from high school was an end to one part of life. But awaiting me were new friends, new classes and new experiences.  

So shout-out to spooky season, for the constant reminder that endings are concurrently tied to new beginnings. 

Pauline Povitsky is a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at life@cavalierdaily.com

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