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Aaaah Autumn. It’s a time of year that people either really love or really don’t. After all, the sky gets darker earlier, the weather gets colder, and the midterm exams feel like they never end. But at the same time, there are also cozy sweaters, warm yummy drinks, pumpkin picking, Thanksgiving, and Halloween festivities. So whether you love or hate this time of year, here is the ultimate fall bucket list that you should try to accomplish by the time you graduate from Western. Also, some of the items on the list have already passed, so if you didn’t complete them this year, you can always do them next year! Good luck!

1. Go to the Volunteer Fair and the Clubs Fair

Whether you are in your first year or in your final year at Western, it is never too late to volunteer for a non-profit organization or join a school club. Every year in September, there is both a Volunteer Fair and a Clubs Fair in the UCC where a variety of booths are set up where you can learn about the various organizations and opportunities available both at school and in the community. Whether it is volunteering with kids through a non-profit organization like Ronald McDonald House or learning a new hobby through a club like Western Climbing Club, it is never too soon or too late to get involved and meet people who share your interests.  

2. Buy purple merch and show it off at FOCO / HOCO

A big part of Western’s culture is this idea of being “purple and proud,” so if you haven’t tried already, why not head to the bookstore and get some purple clothes to show it off both on Broughdale at FOCO and also at the big football game at HOCO? While some people have mixed feelings about the whole FOCO and HOCO situation, I love walking along Broughdale and cheering at the homecoming football game and seeing nothing but the color purple everywhere because it makes you feel like you are a part of a community. Bonus points if you take a photo with our mascot!

3. Go spend time with therapy dogs during midterm season

While fall has fun and energetic events like FOCO and HOCO, it also brings the stress and anxiety of midterms, essays, and assignments. Luckily, during midterm season, therapy dogs are brought to the UCC where you can just spend a few relaxing minutes of your day cuddling with cute dogs. My only problem: all of the dogs are so cuddly and I’m not allowed to bring any of them home with me! Don’t worry if you missed the dogs though, they’ll be back again during final exam season.

4. Go to a pumpkin patch, take a big pumpkin home and carve it

While you could go to Loblaws and get a cheap pumpkin, nothing can get you more into the festive Halloween spirit quite like going to a pumpkin patch. There is something so satisfying about going to a pumpkin patch and picking a pumpkin yourself and plus, a cute picture of you posing in a pumpkin patch will definitely boost your Instagram game. Bonus points if you carve a really cool design on your pumpkin!

5. Check out the Engineering without Borders Pumpkin Drop  

It’s no secret that Western’s engineering students are a little extra. So it is not really shocking that a student engineering organization, Engineering Without Borders, would drop a massive pumpkin down on UC Hill for everyone to see. Not only is this annual pumpkin drop incredibly entertaining and fun to watch, but it is also a great tradition that I believe everyone should check it at one point while they are at Western.

6. Wear a creative costume and go out on Halloween

Okay, don’t get me wrong, I love costumes like the black cat, the sexy cop and the three blind mice. The only thing is they are the UGG boots and Starbucks drinks of Halloween costumes—they are about as basic as you can get! So I challenge you to get a little creative with your Halloween costume, whatever that means to you whether it is an alien, a gumball machine or a flapper. The sky’s the limit so get creative!

7. Pop by the Wellness Education Centre

As I said earlier, fall can be hard as the exams, essays and assignments feel like they are constantly piling up. Whether you are feeling a little stressed or are feeling like you are nearing a crisis, pop by the Wellness Education Centre in the basement of the UCC. While they may not be the easiest center to find on campus if you go to them and explain what you are struggling with, they would be more than happy to connect with you the resources that you need whether it is psychological services, learning skills services or a completely different resource altogether.

8. Try to study in every library at Western

This is a great challenge to try if you are looking for a change of scenery from your old study spots. There are so many libraries on campus, many of them I didn’t even know about until this year including the education library, the Ivey business library, the music library, the law library, the affiliate college libraries and the more commonly known libraries like Weldon and Taylor. Other great study spots include the first floor of the FIMS and Nursing Building as well as the first floor of the Physics and Astronomy Building. Challenge yourself to try and study in every library on campus before December in order to find your favorite library of all of them.

10. Drink your favorite warm drink

While the lines for Starbucks, Tims and the Spoke in the UCC seem to be getting longer and longer, it is super important during the cold and chilly days of fall to drink your favourite warm drinks. Whether you like coffee, tea, hot chocolate, apple cider, pumpkin spice or another drink altogether, it is important to make sure you are warming the insides with drinks that you love.

11. Buy a nice fall-smelling candle from Bath & Body Works

Aww Bath & Body Works, I could probably spend hours there just sniffing their candles. Fall is a really nice time of year to get a candle from Bath & Body Works because so many of their candles have nice sweet smelling aromas like vanilla, cinnamon, and apple that honestly smell like autumn in a jar. Also, on those cold fall nights, there is nothing nicer than just lighting some sweet smelling candles as they provide such a glow and an ambiance to spaces.

12. Curl up under the covers and watch a movie

With all the things you need to do every day including school, assignments, clubs, part-time jobs, internships, sports and spending time with friends, sometimes it can all feel like too much. That’s why, when it all feels like too much, I urge you to stop and take a break this season and just curl up under the covers with a feel-good movie. While this is easier said than done, self-care is super important because if you’re not good to yourself, it becomes harder to be good to others. So grab the popcorn and a cozy blanket and get that rom-com playing!

13. Bake something delicious

I love baking and I think it is an absolute staple of the autumn season. Whether you are baking cookies, pies or cupcakes, reward yourself with some yummy, hot out of the oven treats that are bound to make you happy on the coldest and most challenging of autumn days. Bonus points if you bring me some (kidding, kidding).

Autumn is a season that comes around once a year and when it does, it’s usually cold, dark and in the middle of midterms and assignments. However, the thirteen items on this Western fall bucket list should challenge and motivate you to get more into the spirit of the season. At the end of the day, while school is important, hopefully this list will encourage you to make sure that you are taking care of yourself and rewarding yourself with nice little things throughout the festive season. While fall may not be my favorite season, I will always love this time of year as I love the events organized at school including the Western homecoming football game and the Engineering pumpkin drop as well as other little activities for myself including buying hot chocolates and curling up and watching movies. Now it’s your turn, do you think you have what it takes to complete the fall bucket list? Try the challenges for yourself and find out!

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Anika is the President of Her Campus Western. She is a fourth-year student studying media and creative writing at Western University and would love to work as an advertising copywriter after graduation. When she's not doing Her Campus things, you can find her baking, watching movies and shows, playing video games, and hanging out with friends.
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