I am never one of those people who gets excited for fall. Ever since I was little, one season is the only season for me and that season is summer. But after the first week of classes when I showed up to class dripping in sweat – my condolences to those of you in dorms without air conditioning – I found myself admitting that I am ready for fall. The gorgeous weather the past few days only solidified my excitement for the upcoming change of seasons as it means I can finally bring out my beloved riding boots, blazers, and cardigans. For those of you who don’t get as excited about your fall wardrobe, I am sure you can celebrate the start of football season.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “Life starts all over again when it is crisp in the fall.” This past weekend at the U.Va. versus Penn State football game, I understood what he meant completely. Not only did it feel a little bit more like fall than the previous week when we were playing Richmond, I realized the last time I had stood on the hill was as a 3rd year. I thought about how much my life has changed in the past year and realized I was unhappy with the way some of it has stayed the same. The fall is not only the start of a new football season, but it is the start of a new school year. We’re still not sure how this year is going to go, who our core friend groups might be in May, and what our GPAs will look like. Even though spring is often thought of as the season of rebirth, for students fall really is the time when life starts anew.
Fall is also arguably the best season to be living in Charlottesville. In the spring you have to say goodbye to your friends for the summer and by the time the weather is enjoyable, you find yourself in the depths of Clemons studying for final exams. In the winter, it gets too cold too quickly and you realize the walk from your apartment on Wertland to the Lawn is a lot longer than you remembered it to be. Fall in Charlottesville means you have great (free) plans on home game Saturdays. You aren’t too weighed down by all the work you’ll have later in the semester. On weekends when there aren’t football games, you can go to the Farmers’ Market on the Downtown Mall or wine tasting nearby. You can head up to Carter’s Mountain to pick some apples, and come home with apple pie instead. And you can even remind yourself there is life outside the U.Va. bubble without even leaving Grounds by going to admire all the cute kids that come to trick-or-treat on the Lawn.
So maybe I have been wrong about fall all along. Or maybe now that I will be getting off the gravy train in May and all of my true summers have now long since passed, summer does not have the same carefree appeal it once did. Regardless, I am counting down the days until fall and for the first time, am not sad to see summer go.