At last, it’s that time of year again. Walks to class are becoming more relaxed and finally rid of back sweat caused by the uncomfortable hug your backpack gives you. As usual, the leaves are changing their colors, and drinks gradually make their transition from refreshingly cold to sizzling hot. There are so many fantastic aspects to the fall months that it is almost overwhelming to figure out what exactly to do with your time. Due to this, the only proper response is to name the top ten ways to celebrate autumn and its wonders!
Go to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard.
This is an all-time favorite for breaking into the fall season. Pumpkin patches and apple orchards are prime spots to take a large group of friends, family or your boyfriend or girlfriend. They often offer cute side attractions like corn mazes and bobbing for apples. Honestly, this is as classic as you can get for celebrating the changing of the leaves. Plus, the trips themselves are inexpensive unless you buy treats at the locations. Also, no one can leave either of these places without the hallmark souvenirs: pumpkins and apple cider.
Jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters. Oh my!
If there is one part of fall that I always look forward to, it would be relaxing in a comfortable sweater at the perfect temperature. Cardigans make a comeback, and everything is right with the world. Fall fashion is not just limited to these staples, boots and leggings also inch their way back into your wardrobe. Jeans and jacket weather is certainly the most comfy weather.
Pumpkin flavored and scented everything.
There is one simple way to gauge whether fall has begun, and it is not by looking at a calendar. Check any Starbucks window banners or Bath & Body Works display window, and you will know by the fierceness with which they advertise pumpkin products. Starbucks once again churns out gallons of pumpkin spice lattes, and Bath & Body returns pumpkin scented lotions and sprays to its shelves. You could complain, but really, who doesn’t love the smell of pumpkin?
Decorating your room or apartment for the holidays.
Fall contains two highly commercialized holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving. By that, this means there are endless possibilities when it comes to decorating for them. Scouring through Pinterest boards and Target aisles gives a huge variety on how to design your festive space. If you do not feel like buying decorations, there are always the ever-popular Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween and hand turkeys for Thanksgiving. This is a way to express your holiday spirit, whether it’s in a youthful or mature fashion.
Attend one of your school’s football games.
Nothing says fall like Saturday night games at your school’s stadium. Break out the jackets and face paint because this sporting event is a true sign autumn has arrived. Whether you have season tickets or just go every once in a while, attending a football is something everyone must do. If it is not for the thrill of your team winning, go to socialize with friends and family. After all, football games are half team spirit and half social gathering.
Enjoy a hot drink on a blanket on a cool autumn night.
There are so many possibilities with this idea. You could cuddle close to your significant other with a nice cup of hot chocolate, or you and your buds could get together over some warm cider. At times, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of academics is just necessary. Plus, you only have so long before the nights get too brisk, and winter rears its ugly head.
Thanksgiving dinner with the family.
Even if your family does make the traditional turkey dinner for Thanksgiving or celebrate it at all, there is hardly a reason to miss out on catching up with loved ones. This is also a time to hone your cooking skills after being away at school for several months. If you are not going home for the holidays, stage a “family” dinner with your closest friends at school. While it may not be the same as your biological family, it still makes for a great bonding experience and hey: food!
Everyone’s favorite: Halloween.
Halloween is yet another fall activity that can be enjoyed from a “young versus old” standpoint. For college students, it takes on a whole new meaning. Gone are the days of trick or treating. Costumes take a turn to the skimpier side, but it is all in good fun. The choice is yours. You could dress up and go to parties, hand out candy or take younger siblings at home on trick or treating adventures. This does not mean you have to miss out on the candy either. Handing out candy and eating it from a dorm room is a surprisingly fulfilling.
Farms and hayrides.
This is yet another age-old practice when it comes to fall weather. Farms will often stage their own haunted houses and the classic hayride. Once again, this activity can be enjoyed in a group or in a one-on-one intimate setting. Farms do not also have to be slow-paced and traditional. For University of Illinois students, farms may bring up the idea of “barn dances.” These are also always an option, but remember: keep the fun safe.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, pops into my mind quicker than caramel apples when someone mentions fall. These delicious treats are portable, cheap and incredibly easy to find. Be it a local popcorn shop, orchard or even Walgreens; caramel apples are definitely in surplus this time of year. Complete a study break with one of these wonders, and you will be on cloud nine.