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Do the Most: Embrace Your Inner Child This Fall

We all share fond childhood memories of cozying up on the couch and watching Halloween movies, but for many of us, the magic of the fall season has gone adrift. I’ve been perfecting the art of turning these nostalgic memories into a new type of magic that allows us to appreciate the tenderness of fall as adults. Autumn is the perfect time to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer. Here’s my comprehensive list.

Revisit Childhood halloween movies

The newest blockbuster horror movie is always fun to watch, but make time to revisit your favorite childhood Halloween movies and shows this fall. The sentimental simplicity of these is enough to warm your heart as you cozy up on the couch. Check out Halloweentown, Twitches, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, or a classic Goosebumps episode. There are endless nostalgic moments to revisit.

Make Classic Halloween recipes

As kids, Halloween was ALL about the food! Think back to all the baked goods you’d enjoy at home and at Halloween celebrations. The fall season is the time to feed your inner child your favorite classic treat. Maybe for you, that perfect treat is Pillsbury Halloween cookies, caramel apples, or creepy cupcakes. Can’t think of where to start? Pinterest has all the classics! Devote some time this season to finding your perfect fall indulgence.

Visit your local farm for fall activities

The perfect fall day can be spent at your local farm relishing in the activities they have to offer. Go the whole nine yards; take a hayride, pick apples and pumpkins, journey into a corn maze, and buy locally-made apple cider and baked goods. Smelling the crisp, fall air surrounded by seasonal comfort food is enough to bring back the childlike fondness of the simplest pleasures in life.

Carve pumpkins while listening to halloween jams

After you visit your local farm, partake in the arguably MOST essential fall activity; carving pumpkins! Turn up your favorite Halloween playlist and get creative with your carving. Don’t have a Halloween playlist? Spotify has got you covered with their Top Halloween Tracks playlist. As adults, we sometimes neglect the importance of sitting down and doing something creative just for fun. Carving pumpkins will bring your inventive young mind back to the forefront.  

Collect leaves and make leaf rubbings

We fall lovers can’t wait for the day the autumn leaves descend from the trees and hear that first crunch under our shoes as we walk around campus. As you embark on a refreshing fall walk, devote a second to slowing down and observing the leaves around you. While we all want to enjoy the beautiful fall weather, sometimes it’s hard to find a reason to get yourself outside to take it all in. It’s important to disconnect and a good way to do this is by challenging yourself to search for the most *bewitching* leaves you can find. Once you’ve accumulated your prized assortment try to identify the type of tree they come from. Another fun activity that you may have done as a kid is making leaf rubbings. If you’re unfamiliar with leaf rubbings or need a refresher, here’s a quick tutorial. Turn this classic childhood activity into a way to connect with nature and yourself. You can even make a stunning fall piece for your wall out of them.  

Have a bonfire and make s’mores

Nothing says cozy like a backyard bonfire surrounded by loved ones on a cold fall night. Gather the essential s’more materials or get creative with them. I always love to replace graham crackers with my favorite cookie. You can even replace chocolate with another one of your favorite candies, such as Reese’s or Kit Kats. As we know, getting outside this fall can do wonders for your mental health. Take this time to cherish the company of your loved ones and the simple bliss of moments like these.

Dress up for halloween, of course!

It’s not October without dressing up for Halloween! If you’re stuck coming up with a new costume idea, it’s always fun to recreate a costume you had as a child. Replicating this costume can also be a sentimental experience allowing you to reflect on your growth over the years and reconnect with your inner child. Plus, it can make for a super cute Halloween Instagram post, of course. No matter your plans for Halloween, PLEASE, enjoy your favorite candies. That’s what Halloween is all about, right?

As we’re in the thick of the semester, it’s important to take some time to forget about your responsibilities and devote time to yourself. I’ve found that the best way to do this is to throw yourself into these classic seasonal activities that come once a year.  

Mary Shea

Rutgers '23

Mary is a Junior at Rutgers University studying Psychology and Elementary Education. Her passions include education, social justice, feminism, and mental health advocacy. She also loves fashion, art, and makeup.
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