Edited by Veronika Potylitsina
The countdown to the end of summer has begun, which means it’s time to say goodbye to long walks on the beach, crazy music festivals, shirking all your responsibilities and any and all semblance of fun. If you’re like me, it can be a little tough to transition from summer to the fall season–not because fall isn’t the best season (because it definitely is!) but because change is terrifying. But instead of thinking of the end of summer, focus on the beginning of fall, which is the season of family, friends, holidays and celebrations. Although it’s not New Years yet (the new school year is pretty much the new year, right?), I always like to start each new school year with a new-mantra. New-year, new-me kind of thing. So, here are eight things you can do to ease the transition into autumn:
1. Get Excited About School
Summer is wonderful, but the lack of routine can become tedious pretty quickly. School brings along the wonderful consistency and routine of classes. Structure makes it easier for you to set goals and stick to them, build new habits, and to work more efficiently. Now that you’re done relaxing, fall is the perfect time to finish writing that book you’ve been writing or to try and learn a new, challenging skill. But while university is a great place to discover and pursue your passions, the people you meet along the way are the most important part. Engaging with your professors and networking on and off-campus is a great way to jump-start your career. School also means you get to see all your friends and the people you lost contact with over summer break. Not only are you back into a comforting routine, but you can get re-acquainted with all your friends, your roommates and meet a bunch of exciting, new people.
2. Participate In Upcoming Events
Throwing yourself into upcoming events can be a great way to stay busy and keep having fun. While you may not attend as many music festivals or go on fun, impromptu roadtrips, there are plenty of amazing events taking place at the University of Toronto and in the GTA. U of T offers many exciting clubs such as the Underwater Club (a scuba-diving club), the film board and many more clubs. Volunteering is also a rewarding activity and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity are always looking for extra hands, particularly during the holidays. Even if you can’t make a long-term time commitment, there are other ways to implement fun into your life, such as heading to see a musical or visiting a haunted house with a friend.
3. Take Up A Winter Hobby
Taking up a winter hobby like skiing, ice skating or participating in an indoor intra-mural sport can help you stay active, fit and happy. But if starting a new sport is too intimidating, there are plenty of online fitness videos with workouts you can do right in your dorm room or apartment. You could also take an art class and try your hand at portrait painting or start a book club with your friends. For the days when you don’t feel like braving the cold weather, there is no shame in staying indoors and doing some knitting or crocheting.
4. Get Back Into A Regular Sleep Schedule
Pulling all-nighters were fun on your summer road trips, but now is the time to catch up on some much-needed sleep. It can be tough to balance a busy schedule, but getting quality sleep will help you feel better and it will improve your memory. Fall is the perfect time to take unlimited mid-day naps without judgment. Sleep not only lengthens your attention span and helps reduce your chances of developing a mental illness, it also makes you more creative and reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
5. Read Some Fall Literature/Watch Some Fall Movies
Summer is the season of re-runs. Now that it is nearly over, all your favorite shows are starting back up. Issa Rae’s Insecure, Stranger Things, This Is Us and American Horror Story are just a few amazing shows to catch up on. Winter is also my favourite time to indulge in guilty pleasures, such as mindless reality tv. The Toronto International Film Festival takes place from September 7th – September 17th, so you can check out some films and perhaps spot a celebrity or two. Fall is also a popular time for book releases, so don’t hesitate to browse a book store or the library.
6. Enjoy Summer While It’s Still Here
It’s possible to have too much of a good thing, so perhaps it’s for the best that summer ends. Yet while the prospect of apple-picking and watching beautiful red and yellow leaves fall from their trees is promising, it will be hard not to miss riding rollercoaster and eating watermelons (!!). However, don’t start mourning summer yet. Technically, fall doesn’t start until the September 22. So make sure to make the most of summer while it’s still here. Don’t waste the opportunity to spend time outside and go for another swim or hike–or even to visit with a friend you may have lost contact with.
7. Have Cozy-Times
Pumpkin-spice lattes are a favorite around the fall season, but nothing beats drinking a cup of spiced hot chocolate by the fire while snuggling under a warm blanket. Not only does autumn mean you get to wear warm clothes again and drink warm drinks again, but you can also organize and decorate your room or apartment with lights, fun wallpaper and comfy bed sets with plenty of pillows. You can also purchase candles or battery-operated candles to give your house a cozy, warm feel.
Jean shorts and t-shirts just don’t cut it. Gone are the days of sweltering in the blistering heat and sweating on the subway, which means you can officially wear cute sweaters, fuzzy socks and sip coffee on the streetcars without turning into a heap of sweat. Fall gives you a chance to show off how well the scarf you knit last winter complements your comfy leather boots and your Tumblr-inspired oversized sweaters and cardigans. Fashion has become increasingly eccentric in the last decade and wearing your overalls or an outfit with a billion different patterns is not only accepted, it’s welcomed. Style is an opportunity for artistic expression, so show off your personality through your fall style.
9. Don’t Forget To Pamper Yourself
September doesn’t just signal the end of long nights on the beach, music festivals and bike rides, it is also the beginning of gloomy, chilly weather. Around this time of year, plenty of people suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) due to the lack of Vitamin D and the colder temperatures. This is why it is extremely important to remember to not only remain well-connected with the people you love, but to continue to pamper yourself. It could be as simple as spending time with an animal, practicing some relaxing yoga moves, or writing a kind note to yourself in the mirror.