How to do Fall in Cali when you are from the Midwest

By Lauren Straub


Undeniably, Los Angeles has a lot to offer: sunny weather, the beach, a big city, a cosmopolitanism like no other. Many people come to LA for those very reasons. In fact, those are some of the reasons that I came. Yet, sometimes it takes extreme changes to make you realize how much you appreciate what you know.

I’m from Michigan. I’m used to 80 degree summers, chilly, leave-filled autumns, and cold, snowy winters. With fall being my favorite season, October is naturally the time that I’m beginning to miss everything I love about my home state.

Sure, pumpkin spice lattes exist in California, too. But when the temperature is consistently over 70 degrees, it just doesn’t feel the same. I want iced coffee, not hot coffee. Back home, I love watching the trees change color, the leaves fill up mine and my neighbors’ lawns, and, okay, sweater weather. Can we just talk about sweater weather for a minute? Being cozy is the best, so throwing on a comfy knit sweater, ripped jeans, and fuzzy sucks is one of the best feelings in the world. Doing that here, however, would make me break out in a sweat in seconds. As Halloween approaches, I find myself longing for the local apple orchards, pumpkin-lined storefronts, and briskness of the breeze that I experienced in the Midwest. I miss hosting backyard bonfires in our fire pit and raking leaves. It’s the little things. The traditions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely loving LMU. It’s just the lack of seasons that I know will get to me sometimes (especially when my family sends me photos of them completing our fall rituals without me!).

Now, I’m a woman of action, so I’m prepared to bring my old home to my new one. I’m ready to embrace fall, and all y’all who feel me and desire a bit of chill in the air, listen up:

  1. Order your pumpkin spice lattes and caramel apple ciders - iced (or in the morning or night, when the sun isn’t as aggressive) - they’re still so yummy. You’ll get those iconic flavors without heating up your body.  
  2. Buy some decorations! Even hanging up fall-themed decor can help to get you in the fall mood and feel less homesick. Some girls on my floor have already begun to decorate their doors with fake leaves, autumn wreaths, and Halloween adornments, giving the dorm a nice homey vibe.
  3. Engage your nose. Simply purchasing a pumpkin spice or autumn harvest scented air freshener for your dorm room can provide a bit of fall nostalgia. Candles are great for a comforting whiff, too - just don’t actually light them (because, um, fire hazard).
  4. Wear your cozy sweaters. I’m sure you brought at least a couple. It gets cooler at night, so even if your fave threads are sweat-prone during the day, save them for late at night and go outside. It’s then when you can pretend that California is not a perpetual summer.
  5. Watch cheesy movies. One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to watch a good romantic flick when I’m not bogged down with homework. So, grab your cute mug, fill it with hot cocoa and mini marshmallows, and try hosting a movie night on your floor or in your lounge.

Finally, accept. It’s California, ladies. You came here for many reasons, and not one of them was to sulk. Making the best of every situation is key. You can totally pumpkin spice up your life by following these tips. So, if you’re missing your favorite season, it’s time to take action!