This week marked the transition from summer into autumn — the switch from ice cream to pumpkin pie, lemonade to apple cider and watermelon to sweet potatoes. While I have heard some fellow students lamenting this change, gazing glumly at their diminishing tans and growing stacks of reading, I happen to love this season. In fact, while participating in an around-the-classroom-get-to-know-you-by-answering-a-question-that-most-of-your-classmates-don’t-care-about-game at the beginning of the semester, I boldly claimed that autumn is my favorite of all seasons. “Why fall?” you may ask. Fall is the season when it gets cold. The months filled with midterms and hurricanes. The time when it is frowned upon to sport my spiffy white pants and sundresses. The period during whch there are no longer any all-absorbing distractions such as the World Cup and the Olympics.
I feel that fall is at an immediate disadvantage due to its name. Fall. Yikes. Whoever named the seasons must have had it in for fall. (Note to self: Look into who did name the seasons. Add to list of possible careers post graduation.) A season really deserves more than one syllable in its name. Additionally, how can you appreciate a season whose name means: to give into temptation or sin, to decline in value, to be cast down, or to drop wounded or dead? Because of the negative connotations obviously associated with the term “fall,” I will, from here on out, refer to this season as autumn. I encourage all others to do the same.
Now that we have cleared the air — which is much cooler and crisper, in case you hadn’t noticed — what is it about this season that makes it my favorite? I think it is the perfect compromise between seasons. The season is marked neither by extreme cold, nor by stifling heat and humidity. There are holidays spaced throughout the autumn months, and none of these holidays are especially limited by your religion or relationship status — ahem Easter, Valentine’s Day, Hanukkah, Christmas and, my personal favorite, Bob Marley’s Birthday (for those Rastafarians out there, mark your calendars for Feb 6.)
Autumn also seems to be the most picturesque of the seasons. There are just so many darned precious things to do. You can frolic in crinkly orange and red leaves, go for cider walks in Colonial Williamsburg, go on hay rides, embrace your inner farmer at the apple orchards, go to barn dances circa 1870s, and carve pumpkins. You can tailgate for football games — and maybe even attend some, too. You can sit by the fireplace and knit a pair of mittens — 60 years down the road.
The only people that should legitimately dislike autumn are Santa Claus (it is his busiest season, after all), football linebackers (it cannot be fun getting creamed every day for an entire season) and turkeys (I will spare you the reason why). And for those of you who still doubt the perks of autumn, I have two pieces of advice. First, you better learn to love it, because like it or not, it happens without fail for three months every year. Second, put on a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt, eat some chili and cornbread, and go for a drive on the Colonial Parkway. Take that, winter, spring and summer.
__Emily Walker is a Confusion Corner columnist. She hopes you never fall for a lesser season.__