That Fall Feeling: Tips on staying cozy and embracing the autumn season while staying on campus.

September 22 brought the first official day of fall, and the leaves are starting to change and temperatures are dropping to match. With the scenery around campus changing to brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds, it’s not hard to get excited about the autumn season. After all, autumn has Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all of the warm, cozy, and sometimes spooky vibes.

This year, however, activities like apple picking, pumpkin picking, haunted hayrides, and Halloween parties may be off the agenda for most students, especially those living on campus. So how can you make the most of the fall season while continuing to social distance and abide by the university guidelines for safe and enjoyable fall time fun?

Since fall is the season for everything spooky and scary, in lieu of trick-or-treating or in preparation for Halloween this year, you can organize a scary movie marathon with your friends. The Warner Library has plenty of movies for you to rent if you aren’t paying for Netflix, Hulu, or other streaming services. Find a common area for you and your friends to spread out in, (remember, no more than 25 people in a room at a time, making sure that you’re wearing masks and following proper social distancing protocol),dress in comfy clothes, and surround yourself with pillows and blankets so you can be cozy while you’re scared.

For more spooks and scares, you can pick up a new book or podcast to send shivers up your spine. If you really want to be scared, there are plenty of lists online for highly acclaimed podcasts relating to the horror genre like “Bloody Good Fiction,” which discusses and dissects common horror tropes or podcasts that place you in the middle of a horror story.

For those who still want to be able to sleep at night, bundle up with a murder mystery book that will keep you in suspense but make you feel accomplished if you’ve figured out who-dun-it.

This time of year, the air is getting chillier, but it’s not unbearably cold, making it the perfect season for long walks around campus. Bring your phone, a sketchbook, or a notebook and find beautiful scenes to be inspired by. Let the colors and atmosphere of fall find a home in your creative work and make a morning, evening, or afternoon walk all the more enjoyable.

You can also express your love for the season by decorating your room for fall. Order decorations online or make them yourself with construction paper and tape. I absolutely love seeing halls with doors
decorated nicely for fall. There’s something about pumpkins, leaves, and cute Halloween decorations that add so much personality and warmth to a room, and since we’re strongly encouraged not to leave campus unless it’s for essential purposes, bringing the beauty of fall decorations like you would see around town onto campus and inside the dorm buildings can help make this fall feel a little more normal.

Another way to capture the spirit of autumn is through music. Making a new fall playlist gets me excited for this time of year. Fill it with your favorite songs that make you feel warm and cozy and ready to wear sweaters and cardigans every day.

Personally, my fall playlists tend to have more acoustic and folk music, as the simplicity of the harmonies and the calming nature of the lyrics reminds me of the tranquility of falling leaves and the importance of spending time with friends and loved ones that’s emphasized during autumn.

Though it’s maybe not the way you’ve envisioned this autumn going, hopefully these suggestions can help you feel more of the warm and sometimes spooky spirit of this time of year.


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