As a first-year student who came to Vassar from Pittsburgh, I am no stranger to the four seasons. In fact, the changes in season are vital to me; I’m always looking forward to the leaves changing colors, the first snowfall, beautiful flowers blooming and the nostalgic music of an ice cream truck. When I decided to come to upstate New York for college, I didn’t embrace the fact that I would continue to experience the luxury of the four seasons until now.
Though I love all of the seasons, fall is my favorite. When I arrived in Poughkeepsie and began to tell everyone how excited I was to experience autumn on our beautiful campus, I learned that not everyone has experienced the season in all its red, gold and amber glory. What?! I can now recognize my naivete, but I feel this nagging pressure to enlighten all those who have yet to experience a true Christian Girl Autumn. Well, here it is: your guide to fall from an absolute fall-fanatic.
But, I must proceed with caution: Candles are my favorite way to embrace the fall season. Every year, I’ve pulled out my chai-, pumpkin- and apple-scented candles. But since that’s not possible in the dorms, here are some other ways to embrace the fall season.
- Wear flannels and other Christian Girl Autumn wardrobe staples
Nothing says fall fashion like a flannel.. No matter what flannel you are wearing—buttoned, unbuttoned; tied, untied; colorless, colorful—understand the immense impact you are making in terms of embracing autumn. That’s not all, though. Chunky scarves, blue jeans, oversized sweaters, and beanies also fit the theme. When you wear your fall-est fit, you should go ahead and snap some pictures. Who knows, maybe you will be the next big fall influencer.
- Attend fall events
Be on the lookout for events run by house teams, student organizations and academic departments. Fall Fest was an awesome experience during families’ weekend, with students gathering outside to spend time with friends and family. Oktoberfest really drove the fall vibes home with apple cider, hay rides and fun face painting. Halloweekend also promises some exciting autumn activities, so take advantage of what you can!
- Relax outside and embrace the beautiful leaves
Do you have a blanket or a hammock? If so, now is the perfect time to use it. Find a comfortable spot and decompress! Taking small moments for yourself, especially somewhere as stressful as Vassar, is crucial for self-care and mental health. Hear the leaves crunch beneath your peers’ feet. Feel the cold wind on your skin. See the beautiful red and orange trees as you sway back and forth on your hammock.
- Drink hot drinks
With the air losing its summer warmth, a hot drink does wonders. When the machines actually work, I am a huge fan of the hot chocolate from the dispensers in the campus dining options. But be careful: your hands may warm up too much when the hot chocolate splatters all over you. Whether you’re a coffee, tea or matcha lover, have a moment of seasonal gratitude while you sip on your warm beverage.
- Embrace apples
Who doesn’t love apples? Actually, if you don’t, please don’t tell me because it will hurt my feelings. Since I love apples so much, I try to gorge myself on as many apple-acquainted products as possible: cider, juice, pies, muffins, donuts. Pro tip: If you can’t get your hands on a pumpkin this year, carve an apple! Even the Deece’s cutlery is capable of scraping off the skin of an apple, so get creative.
- Cozy up and read!
Sorry in advance to all the students in humanities classes; trust me, I can barely stomach the idea of reading more than the bare minimum for class. However, fall is the perfect time to curl up on your Twin XL bed with a cozy blanket and fall deep into a book. If you’re feeling especially autumnal, you could combine a few of my other tips and drink some tea or wear a flannel while you read.
Taylor Swift once said that “August slipped away into a moment in time.” She never misses! Summer slipped away a while ago, and soon fall will too so embrace it while you can. Be sure to capture your fun fall moments to look back on in the years to come. Though I tried to highlight the most prominent ways to celebrate autumn—minus the candles, of course—the list is by no means exhaustive. There is no one way to celebrate fall, so no matter which way you choose to embrace the energy, I wish you the best.