Fall at Bates: Expectations vs. Realities

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We’re finally getting into the groove of fall up in Maine. The leaves are finally changing, people are breaking out their heavy-duty sweaters, and classes are in full swing. Fall really is one of the best times to be a student at Bates. Between apple picking, our fall concert, and beautiful weather for all kinds of outdoor activities, Batesies can’t complain about going to school in a state coined “Vacationland.” However, some of our high expectations of fall meet realities every once in a while. Here are five instances of expectations vs. realities that we all may face during our time at Bates.


Apple Picking:


You bring some friends apple picking at a local orchard, and you each frolic around the apples picking the best honey crisps you could ever imagine. After taking incredible group shots and new profile pics while picking apples, you grab some warm apple cider donuts without waiting in line. Once you stuff your faces with apple anything, you pick some pumpkins, meander through a corn maze, and take even more pictures.



You definitely did NOT eat enough food before coming to pick some apples because all of the ones in your bag already have huge bites in them. Every time you reach for an apple, your friend stops you because she wants upwards to a million photos of her doing the same exact pose. By the time you FINALLY capture an “okay” picture, you’re dying of sweat in your new L.L. Bean flannel your mom bought you over family weekend. Oh, and when you finally find the apple cider donuts, there is a huge line full of hungry children with impatient parents. You find your friend still taking selfies, purchase 3 half eaten apples, and call it a day.

Jumping into a Pile of Leaves:


You gather a large pile of leaves together, and it only took about ten minutes! The leaves are bright, colorful, and centered perfectly on top of a lush piece of grass. As soon as your friends get out of class, you all jump in the pile together. You also shoot an amazing boomerang of your bestie jumping in (one that can even make Kiel James Patrick jealous).


You’ve been working on gathering this tiny pile of leaves together all afternoon. As soon as you make a pile, a gust of wind blows, placing the dull colored leaves all around the quad. As soon as your friends get out of class, they come visit your masterpiece, but don’t even know where to look. You act like you’re not offended by their lack of praise, and just force them to jump into you mediocre pile of leaves anyway.




You choose a hike that is only a mile long, dress in perfectly warm hiking clothes, and sip on a hot cup of chai at the top of the mountain. Your friends have all about the same hiking experience as you, so your hike is a leisurely adventure up the mountain. You watch the sunset, and head out of the woods with just enough sunlight left to reach the car.


When you FINALLY reach the summit, which was definitely close to three miles of straight switchbacks, you look back and realize three of your friends are not anywhere to be seen. You run back down to find them, coax them to the top with the goal of drinking a nice hot cup of chai, but realize you left the chai packets back at the car once you all made it to the summit. The sunset is beautiful, but it’s too bad all of the mosquitoes are attacking your eyes and every exposed piece of skin. You think the worst part of the hike is over, but then remember you have no idea where the trail is AND the sun set like twenty minutes ago.


Fall Concert:


You hear that your favorite entertainer is performing at the fall concert, so you’re stoked! You purchase tickets the second you can, invite a couple of your friends from other colleges to tag along, and splurge on a pair of jeans just for a cute concert outfit. You get to the concert fashionably late, and still manage to squeeze your way to the front of the crowd. During the whole concert, you’re convinced the lead singer wants to marry you because of his constant eye contact.


On the concert day, your friend from another school breaks open the care package from your dad, and decides to try all of the gourmet cookies. Bad news is she’s super allergic to nuts, and your dad puts peanuts in every cookie he ever bakes! While your friends are busy taking selfies with your favorite singer, you’re already on the way to the E.R. with your friend (who can’t stop apologizing the entire way there).


Fall Break at Home:


You hop off your flight, meet your mom by the baggage claim, and go eat at your favorite restaurant. During your five day break, you shop at your favorite boutiques, play with your dog, hang with all of your friends from home, volunteer at a 5k, and squeeze in some well-deserved chill time.


You spend the entire break in your sweats, catch up on all of your neglected reality tv shows, down a bag of Stacy’s pita chips every single day, and hang out with your #1 all break long (aka your dog). Not too shabby of a “reality,” if you ask me!

Even though there may be all sorts of hiccups in the fall season, enjoy autumn while it lasts! It’s not too long until we start breaking out the wool socks and parkas!



About The Author

Catie Spaulding is a junior at Bates College. In her free time, she enjoys playing with puppies, watching reruns of The Office, admiring squirrels on campus, and eating outrageous amounts of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

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