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Experiences

How I Fell in Love with Fall Festivities

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Being raised in a home where holidays were just another day left me experiencing a serious fear of missing out. My family never celebrated much of anything besides birthdays.

Kids at school would drone on about how much candy they collected on Halloween, where they were going for Thanksgiving or what they got for Christmas. I was reduced to empathetic nodding and feigned excitement.

Whenever holidays came around, I didn’t feel envy but rather confusion and disdain. I became a holiday Scrooge as every holiday pulled me further into an annoyance for society and its collective cheerfulness. 

While our home was the least festive I had seen, there was some reprieve when the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving came around. Yet still, the social pressure pressed down on me.

As I grew into adulthood, I became introspective about who I had been and who I wanted to be. Instead of envy and regret, I realized that who we were raised to be is not who we have to be.

“Self-definition” became my mission in every sense of the notion. Do anything and everything to break out of the mould I was born into.

It felt like an opportunity for an experiment: For one year, try celebrating every holiday I never got to celebrate and see how I feel.

It seemed stupid because I had never cared to participate before, but I started to ask myself questions about the purpose of holidays and noticed their effects on people. 

So, I finally participated and it was life-changing! As a young woman with so many challenges in my life, holidays gave me something to look forward to—something to bring me closer to those around me. 

I found myself planning costumes (even for my cat), baking pies, decorating for each season and buying gifts no matter how big or small the occasion was!

I began to love October, seeing it as the beginning of the most fun time of the year. My birthday became symbolic of the freshness of this new life I’ve begun to live. Fall began to remind me of life’s transient phases and the beauty in embracing and experiencing it. 

I turned into a fiend for festivities, becoming the most celebratory person I know. 

Looking back years later, I realized that experiment never ended. I’m not disappointed because I’ve finally found myself.

Breanna Milton is a recent addition to Her Campus at Ryerson, and a journalism student with a focus on environmental and cultural studies. She's overjoyed at now having an outlet to publish her stories, and grow as a writer. Since a young age, Breanna would write poems and short stories in her free time. Everything can be made into a story in her eyes. In high school back in Colorado, USA, she was a member of the National English Honors Society. Outside of writing, Breanna has a love for animals, nature, music, and independent movies. She is excited to see what journey Her Campus will take her on.
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