1. Fall weather
Finally, we won’t be sweating when we walk to class. The amount I sweat on my way to classes makes me want to shower twice every day. Stepping outside into weather that’s enjoyable — and not immeasurably humid — is refreshing. Additionally, fall sunsets and skies are gorgeous during the first couple of weeks once the air becomes crisp and the trees still have their colorful leaves.
Trick-or-Treating on the Lawn is something I have been looking forward to since COVID-19 caused us to have to cancel it in the past few years. Children and puppies all dressed up in halloween costumes, roaming the Lawn is one of the best parts of the year. Halloween can be an excuse to dress up and do something fun with your friends, but it is also a reason to decorate your living space and eat as much candy as you’d like.
3. Fall clothes
I love wearing sweaters and boots. Nothing is better than the feeling of wearing pants and long sleeves to class and being at the perfect temperature. Sweaters and boots are cozy and everything about them is wholesome. The part of fall that is just before Charlottesville’s cold winter is the best for fall fashion. Scarves, hats and fun layered outfits are cornerstones of a fall wardrobe and I personally cannot wait to break out my cool weather clothes.
4. Fall recipes
This is the first year when I will have a crockpot in my apartment for the fall. I am so excited to make chili, slow-cooked chicken tacos and so many other recipes that would typically make my apartment too hot during the summer. Desserts are also unmatched at this time of the year. Pumpkin and apple pie are two of my favorite things. Pumpkin flavoring is in just about any dessert you can imagine now. Even though it is still September, I’m having harvest chili with pumpkin and acorn squash for dinner tonight.
5. Football season
Football season has just started, however, games in the fall feel so much different than those early in the semester. For starters, the temperature and time of day of the games in the summer is not ideal. When games begin at dusk and the sun isn’t shining in your eyes — that’s when I truly enjoy football season. Going to the games with friends or watching away games with your roommates or on the Corner allows us all to participate in the school spirit of football season and makes fall weekends even more special.
6. The Blue Ridge Mountains
One of the best things about Charlottesville is its location in Virginia. We are roughly 30 minutes away from Skyline Drive in Waynesboro. Fall in Charlottesville is so beautiful because of the backdrop of the mountains and the gorgeous fall foliage. Hiking or camping in the Blue Ridge mountains in the fall is one of the most rewarding experiences, and the views are incredible. I personally tried to go camping in June and it was almost 100 degrees the entire night. I made a vow that I would not be going camping again until it was fall.
7. Pumpkin and apple picking
Carter Mountain Orchard and Chiles Peach Orchard are very close to the University, where you can pick apples and peaches. At Carter Mountain, you can prepay for a bag of a certain size and then fill it with any of the varieties of apples that the orchard has available that day. The views from Carter Mountain are gorgeous, making this the perfect fall hang-out activity or date. Additionally, pre-picked pumpkins are available to be purchased at Carter Mountain — carving pumpkins at an orchard is a classic Charlottesville afternoon activity in the fall.
8. Hot coffee
I personally am one of the crazy people that will still drink iced coffee even if it is below freezing outside. That being said, I still love a good cup of hot coffee on occasion. Using hot coffee to warm up after being in the cool fall weather or snuggling up with some hot coffee and a book is something I look forward to every year. Did I mention that pumpkin flavoring is back? I’m trying to make it to late September before I crack and buy one, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold out.
9. Fall break
I know we just began school a few weeks ago and I shouldn’t be looking forward to a break already, but fall break is just around the corner. Fall break is timed so well as it acts as a breath of fresh air after the first round of midterms — it is the perfect opportunity to get away from Charlottesville for a few days, do a staycation or use it to get caught up and get ahead before getting back into the swing of things. The past three years I used fall break as the perfect time to clean my room and get caught up with non-school-related responsibilities.
10. Movie nights
Snuggling up for a movie during the summer is hard. It doesn’t get dark until 9 p.m. and it is too hot to really burrow under blankets. On cooler nights when it gets dark sooner, movie nights are a perfect way to unwind. Baking cookies or eating any of the many soup recipes I can’t get out of my head while watching a movie is one of the most wholesome fall activities. I personally am so excited for October.