From coffee roasts to picking pumpkins: Fall is here

As I sit staring out my window at the dismally gray day outside, I can’t help but think of the sunshine-y summer days that left us all too soon. While the beginning of fall this year has surprised some of us with frost advisories at night and the unexpected rainstorm here and there, try not to fret too much. Fall may be the season of adjusting to bitter winds, but it also has a lot going for it. Since it’s been a whole year since the last time we made the adjustment, lets go over some basic fall advice.

First off, it’s cold season, everyone. For those of you new to college, know that living in a big dorm means you get sick a lot. My freshman year, I managed to get strep throat four times in two months. This means we all start drinking orange juice with every meal to build up some vitamin C in our systems. Wash your hands all the time, you don’t know who sneezed into their hands and then turned that doorknob you just touched.

Second, make sure you are dressing appropriately. I know we’ve been having come crazy weather lately. We wake up and it’s 40 degrees outside and then by noon it’s in the mid 60s. That doesn’t mean, however, that when it’s morning and still 40 degrees out, you should be walking around in shorts and a t-shirt. It’s ok to go back to your room halfway through the day and take off a couple of the layer you were wearing earlier. Layers will be your best friend this fall. Wear a few layers so when it gets warmer throughout the day you can take one off.  For the colder days that are inevitable at this point, a nice pair of thick socks and a sweater will get you far.

One of my favorite things to do in the fall is walk around in the cool weather with a nice hot drink in hand.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to start ranting about pumpkin spice latte’s, but I am going to rant about coffee! Coffee is a staple in my diet, that’s for sure, so I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I realized the café has some pretty good selections. If you’ve ever ordered coffee at the café before, then you know they will ask you what kind of roast you would like, light, medium or dark. Personally, I prefer their light roast coffee, Del Sol. It’s rich, yet not as heavy or bitter as one of their darker roasts might be.  French Roast is also a popular choice on the menu; it’s a heady and aromatic roast that has more ‘body’ than a light roast.

For the day after a fifth week all-nighter, a red-eye—also sometimes mistakenly, and disconcertingly, referred to as the black-eye—is great. It’s a traditional cup of coffee with an added shot of espresso which makes you feel a little cracked out but definitely keeps you awake until you find time to take a nap.

While Wisconsin is often prized for its wintry landscapes—what’s prettier than the smokestacks of the paper factory against a grey sky?—but campus during fall is also a gem. In my opinion, one of the best places to enjoy fall scenery is on Memorial Hill, looking over quaint SLUG garden and the river. Alternatively, the Pusey Room has a nook that also has amazing views of the river. If you’re willing to succumb to a little distraction with your reading, this is prime fall real estate.

Speaking of SLUG, what better time to garden than fall? It’s not cold enough where the thought of going into the outdoors is out of the question and not warm enough where agriculturally necessary, albeit annoying, bugs are buzzing around pollinating everything.

Lawrence students in particular tend to look to the fall with dread. Usually fall means we’re halfway through the term and this is when we really need to crack down on work, midterms, papers and, of course, that’s without even thinking about all of our extracurriculars. But hopefully this year fall can seem a little brighter now. Let’s be honest, who could dislike a season that comes with apple picking, pumpkin pie, cider and buckets full of candy?