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No, it’s not Christmas (not yet, anyway), but it is the most wonderful time of the year. There. I said it. Fall is finally upon us. 

If you couldn’t tell, I’m unapologetically all-things-fall. I wait for October all year long. No amount of apple cider, pumpkin spice cold brew, or hot chocolate ever quenches my thirst. My Pinterest boards permanently resemble something out of a Taylor Swift Folklore photo session. I adore wooly scarves and leather boots and Levi 501s. I live my main character life playing Harry Connick Jr. from my Meg Ryan Fall playlist and Bon Iver from my Cozy Girl Fall playlist (yes, I have two fall playlists, don’t you dare judge me!). Sweater weather is all too fleeting, chickadees. It is time to take a well-deserved mental health break, bask in the crisp autumn air, and make the most out of life. As your trusted fall connoisseur, I’ve got you completely covered to have the best fall of your entire life. Let’s do this. 

  1. Make playlists. Ladies, I don’t even have to say this. Music sets the scene for everything. You’re the main character, right? You need a bomb-af soundtrack to accompany your 100% on Rotten Tomatoes feature film (yes, you are critically well-received. You’re welcome.). For myself, fall conjures up different aesthetics, so I require different playlists to accommodate whatever mood I’m in. As aforementioned, I have my “Meg Ryan Fall” playlist for rom-com vibes and my “Cozy Girl Fall” playlist for chilly, 8 am walks. 
  2. Ready the Wardrobe. Arguably, this is the most exciting part of the season. Say goodbye to your spaghetti straps, sandals, and sunglasses for a few months, and say hello to sweaters, scarves, and strap-up boots. I want to see turtlenecks, long sleeve shirts under dresses, leather boots, blazers, overalls, black tights, and slacks. I want to see this campus looking like an unproblematic Woody Allen film. If you need help coming up with outfits, feel free to check out my most beloved Pinterest board of fashionable outfits to wear for the next few months. Then, go thrifting! I’ve had the best luck at ARES Thrift Store and TRU Hospice Thrift Shop.
  3. Compile Your Must-Watch Movies List. Now, I’m not trying per se to influence your movie-watching habits, but there is a shortlist I will certainly pitch if you don’t have any movie-night ideas. For aesthetically fall looks, try Little Women (2019), Dead Poets Society, and Knives Out (shoutout to Chris Evan’s fineeeeeee cable-knit sweater). For minimally scary Halloween features, stream Disney classics like Twitches, Halloweentown, and Hocus Pocus. For scary movie fans, head to the movies for classics like Scream (October 10th) Silence of the Lambs (October 17th), and Halloween (free at CHEM 140 on Oct. 29th).
  4. Mark Your Calendar For Events. However much CU might throw out the word “free,” when advertising their events, the truth is that we are paying for these events with our tuition. Get your money’s worth and actually go to this stuff! Attend Hallett’s movie night on October 23rd. There will be caramel apples and cider. While you’re at it, stop by Baker’s pumpkin painting and costume contest event on October 30th. And if that’s not enough to keep you busy, take a quick jaunt over to Boulder’s Community Harvest Festival on October 6th for pumpkins, face painting, and live music. 
  5. Take care of yourself. Seriously. I know I just threw a whole list of “to-do’s” at you, but none of them will be any fun if you are stressed out. This time of year, you may have a never-ending stream of tasks to complete for school, friends, and family. The thing is, you need time to decompress and relax. At the very least, you need time to eat, sleep, and shower. If you get a moment to rest, listen to Emma Chamberlain’s highly relaxing podcast in a dark room or take a nice, long shower with some apple-scented body wash. This season can be highly depressing and anxiety-ridden with the influx of midterms and oncoming seasonal depression, so do what you need to do to feel as though you are taking care of you. Self-care is important 12 months a year but it’s okay to start now. You got this, chica!
Hannah is a freshman at the College of Arts and Sciences. When she's not writing music or reading Jane Austen, she's likely having a Harry Potter movie marathon, hiking up the side of a mountain, or thrifting at Goodwill.
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