Growing up and going to college in Massachusetts, I know how to grapple with the always-unpredictable weather in New England. Though true New Englanders understand they never actually know what tomorrow’s weather brings, I find solace with one thing consistently on its way: New England’s unique version of fall. I think of the brisk breeze, vibrant colors, pumpkin flavored everything and festive activities. Nothing’s quite like it, and in my opinion, it’s the superior time of year for me, even as a college student.
Even when my friends at Boston College from warmer states judge me for identifying myself as a “cooler weather gal,” I don’t take this time of year for granted.
Early to mid-September changes everything in Massachusetts.
Nature takes on an orange, red and yellow tint. I’ve witnessed this process my whole life, it never fails to amaze me. Humid air turns into a nippy breeze, long days turning into nights by 6 p.m. and the first sip of a hot coffee/cider on a frigid morning mesmerizes me. I get that jittery feeling in the pit of my stomach that a child feels on Christmas Eve in anticipation of the fall season.
Fall in this area opens a whole new world of fun for everyone, even college students. Some of my favorite activities growing up were visiting local farms, going apple picking, carving pumpkins and decorating my front porch with spooky stickers. Things feel simpler and even tend to have a cheaper price.
Though I’m living in a dorm now, I’ve found so many ways to enjoy the season the way I did when I was home. Looking to spend little to no money? Burn your hand on a hot apple cider from dunks, wander around and take cute pics in the foliage, buy some spooky window stickers for the wall or illegally watch horror movies online and BOOM—you’ve caught the fall spirit.
Allowing yourself to spend a little more for the season? Grab a friend (or a special friend *wink, wink*) and go climb trees for apples (don’t fall though, it makes it less fun). Buy a whole dozen of cider donuts for yourself or pumpkins just for shits and giggles. Go find a fear fest at a local amusement park and get frickin’ spooked (or pretend to, at least).
If you’re from the Massachusetts area, I recommend Spooky World or Scream Fest. Both relatively local to Boston, and both a frightful experience for all ages. I’ve done all of these things and made some hilarious memories with my best friends and family members.
It’s hard to spend money and get off campus, but that doesn’t mean I don’t bring the spirit of fall to my dorm room. I bought baby pumpkins from a local grocery store and plan to decorate the common room with my roommates. I totally recommend a roomie fall-themed craft night or a scary movie marathon.
The season presents many opportunities for creativity, especially to take a break from the stress of classes. Not to mention, Halloween soon approaches. Even though it’s no longer socially acceptable to go trick or treating, I love creating costumes and going out on Halloweekend. Thanksgiving comes right after. Even if you disagree with everything else I mentioned about attending college in New England during the fall, Thanksgiving is an open opportunity to go home or to a friend’s house and get a free meal (or a few). No one can deny the awesomeness of free food.
The start of football season also ends in a good time, especially in New England. Yes, I am a Patriots fan. If you’re not, that’s just unfortunate. Watching football always brought my whole family together at home. At school it brings my friends together, too. Whether I’m watching an NFL game on TV or in the stands cheering on BC football, I feel reminded that I’m always grateful for fall.
Beyond the fun that fall provides me, the fall also indicates the full swing of classes, and that sucks. Midterms approach and I feel like drowning in homework, but there is a bright side. I literally roll out of bed, throw on a sweatshirt and head to class. That is my sh*t. Little to no effort. And isn’t it awesome how a pair of leggings, a big sweater and boots equate low effort and cute?
Also, living in a dorm with no air conditioning, I no longer wake up in a pool of sweat. I get to wrap myself up in blankets and get cozy AF.
By finding ways to bring my home fall traditions to school and creating new ones here at BC, I truly enjoy the season. I can’t wait for the rest of the fall and to spread my festive spirit. I don’t want anyone around me to overlook exploring what makes fall so great in New England.
The happiness I feel from the season often originates from sharing it with people I care about here at school and at home. And if I can prove to even one person that Halloween trumps Christmas, my job here is done.