How to Celebrate Fall in 80° Weather

It's finally that time of year when the temperature begins to fall, the leaves transform into vibrant colors, and we start to layer on our thick winter coats, unless you live in the South. As a native Floridian, I am used to 80° weather in November, so I found it quite amusing when my roommates (almost all of them being from the north) complained that it didn't feel like autumn. It made me realize that this year may be the first time that many Tulane freshmen are experiencing autumn with a temperature that is higher than 50°, which may be quite a shock to those who aren't prepared. However, it is still possible to celebrate fall in southern Louisiana, even if it doesn't look like a cheesy Hallmark movie.

"Sweater Weather"

Even though it is November, in New Orleans, it's hard to bundle up in your thick boots and wool scarves and still be comfortable. I suggest investing in a few lightweight pieces of your favorite fall accessories, like a denim jacket, a soft cardigan, or a cute sweater that isn't too thick. These accessories are simple enough to spruce up any outfit without overheating you and still make you feel that it really is fall. Once the weather starts getting colder (like it has been these past few days), then you can break out your scarves, parkas, and boots to create your perfect layered fall outfit! 

Decorations

Once October is over, the spooky Halloween decorations get taken down and replaced by festive Christmas and Hanukkah decorations. However, people are completely skipping over another important American fall tradition: Thanksgiving. I personally love Christmas and can't wait to celebrate my first Christmas as a college student, but I believe we also need to appreciate fall! My advice is to invest in some fall-themed decorations for your dorm room.  One idea I love is to buy stick-on fall leaves (in yellow, orange, and brown) and place them on your mirror to make it feel more festive. There are tons of other fall and Thanksgiving decorations that are cheap, yet still cute enough to spruce up any college dorm.

Activities

While you may not be able to rake leaves and jump into a giant pile of them (do people really do that for fun?), there are still some fun activities in New Orleans, or anywhere else, that you could find engaging and fun. As a college student, I enjoy any activity that involves food and know that many other college students would agree with me. One of my favorite activities as a kid was to bake Pillsbury cookies, the kind with little pumpkins on them, and share them with my family and friends. Baking these cookies takes little effort and is still a fun way to gather your friends and family. If you still want more to do, gather your friends together and decorate pumpkins or find a local fall festival (this is New Orleans, where we have a party for every day of the year) and enjoy it!

Pumpkin Spice

Another big treat during the fall is any food or drink with pumpkin spice. Although I am not an avid fan, my friends have told me that drinking or eating anything with pumpkin spice makes them feel as if it is autumn, so if you enjoy the taste, be sure to grab anything pumpkin spice while it is still available!

There's no perfect way to celebrate fall, so whether you choose to wear 4 layers in 80° weather, or you embrace the heat and get a tan while you still can, make sure that you are enjoying this season while it lasts!