It’s officially my favorite season: fall! With pumpkin spice, sweaters, and chai lattes…what’s not to love? Unfortunately, fall doesn’t last all year so here’s a checklist of all my autumn favorites to complete before the falling, burnt-orange leaves turn into snow.
Cheesy Pumpkin Pics
I figured I’d start with the basics. Not only can you use these adorable pictures to bump up your Instagram game, but you can also hang them around your room as fall decorations. I did just that over fall break; during the time we got off from the hurricane, my best friend and I dressed in our cutest fall outfits and headed to the pumpkin patch. Polaroid in hand, we were ready to pick the best pumpkin, but not without taking a few pictures. This year, we decided to spice it up and get a green pumpkin, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
Attend a Halloween Event
Need an excuse to dress up or stuff your face with sweets? Find a Halloween event in your town. My favorite Halloween event is one my sorority hosts: Puppies and Pumpkins. For the event, we partner with our main philanthropy, CARE, and offer delicious fall desserts and a photoshoot with puppies in exchange for a small fee. My other favorite Halloween event is a little less innocent: Rocky Horror Picture Show. Every year my school’s theatre hosts the show, and people go full out, complete with costumes and contests. That being said, there are so many events, such as Pumpkin and Paintings, where you sip wine and channel your inner Picasso, or Spooky Skate, where you ice skate in your favorite costume. You just have to know where to look, and apps like Eventbrite can help.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
It’s the season to give back and what better way than volunteering? If you don’t know of a soup kitchen near you, volunteer at an animal shelter or a nursing home; whatever appeals to you to give back to your community. I’m already excited to go back and volunteer at GTS Husky Rescue when I get home, but until then you can find me walking puppies at CARE. As cheesy as it sounds, nothing feels more rewarding than volunteering, especially when it involves puppies.
You squint, struggling to adjust to the dark, inching forward, waiting for something to pop out at you. Second, by second, your fear slowly subsides, and you let your shoulders drop, giving in to the temptation. Suddenly, there’s a bloody clown chasing you, and a deafening scream escapes your lips. You look over at the friend beside you, unsure whether to laugh or keep screaming. You exit the haunted house, heart pounding forcibly against your ribcage, ready to go again. I’m a huge wimp, and even I enjoy haunted houses. Last year, before they demolished our union, they hosted a haunted house, one full of chainsaws, torture devices, zombies, and experiments gone wrong– the scariest part, however, was my friend screaming. “Something’s gonna pop, something’s gonna pop,” she repeated over and over again rocking back and forth maniacally. Not even the demon-dressed kid chasing me could compare.
Time to bust out those Halloween classics like Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus. For the braver ones, feel free to break out your favorite thrillers – and if you’re really feeling fearless, check out Hereditary. I’d say it’s horrifying, but to be honest, I kept my face perfectly shielded by a blanket the entirety of the movie. However, my blanket shield didn’t prevent my roommates and me from dragging our mattresses into the living room and having a sleepover complete with Disney movies to quell our anxiety. If you can, make this the perfect movie marathon by setting up a projector and some blankets. However you decide to set up your home theater, snacks are a must!
It’s officially pumpkin spice season. Now for those of you who know me well, you probably wouldn’t trust me in your kitchen. That being said, I still managed, with the help of friends, to bake some fall favorites. I’m nowhere near a chef, so we decided to make it easy on ourselves and make vegan pumpkin spice pancakes. All you need is to buy Bisquick pancake mix and follow the recipe on the back, but substitute each egg for 1/4 cup of cinnamon applesauce and the milk for your favorite dairy substitute. Then, add canned pumpkin puree. Next, spice it up: we added cinnamon, nutmeg and a sprinkle of ginger to taste. For a little bit of added fun, make them pumpkin shaped!
If you live in a place where leaves change color – which is pretty much anywhere other than Florida – take a walk and enjoy it. Grab your picnic blanket or a good book. One of my all-time favorite pastimes is sitting under an oak tree reading a good book in fall. Whether it’s the soft sweater that encompasses me, the warm drink I sip on, or the soft fall breeze – there’s nothing more relaxing.
Switch to Sweaters
It’s time to switch out all your tank tops for snuggly sweaters. If you were to talk to any of my friends, they’d probably tell you I have a bit of a sweater obsession. It’s absolutely true, especially for a Floridian. Even in the Florida heat, I brave the sweltering air and wear them all the time anyway. One of my favorite places to buy sweaters is Marshalls: They’re reasonable and not to mention adorable.
Not going to lie, I much prefer the British version of football. But still, there’s nothing like cheering on your team with your best friends. It feels like you’re swimming in a sea of garnet and gold at FSU, the anticipation building up, your breath caught, waiting for kickoff.
Take a Mini Road Trip
Maybe it’s just my wanderlust acting up again, but fall seems like the perfect time for a road trip. For me, and many other FSU students, Thomasville, Georgia, is the perfect mini road trip. Its antique shops, cozy cafes, and unique boutiques scream autumn. No matter where you are, grab your favorite playlist and some snacks and hit the road. If you can’t take a road trip, no worries – see my previous blog post on how to be a tourist in your own town.
Read a Book
Nothing says fall like cozying up with your favorite book. This year, we made a reading nook for our apartment, and it’s my favorite thing. Curled up in a soft blanket, chai latte in hand, it’s likely that I won’t leave until I finish the book or the entire series. If I do leave, it’s to go Landis Green. When the temperature drops, our main green fills up with people, their tapestries laid out and books or laptops in their hands.
Stepping on the back of the trailer, the smell of hay overwhelms you as you take a seat on the soft barrels. Riding around, you get lost, the light fall breeze blowing through your hair and the bright colors of leaves filling the streets. I still remember the hayrides we used to take around my neighborhood; they were mesmerizing. If you’re looking for something a little more hype, they also have haunted hayrides: similar to a haunted house, only this time you can’t run.
Now go, enjoy fall, and tell me about your favorite experiences in the comments!