Fall is a lovely, but awfully predictable, season on campus. In fact, instead of almanacs, farmers should simply rely on students for planting times – like a flock of sheep with dear President Reveley as our own personal shepherd, we like to follow our dear seasonal traditions to the tee.
For example, the first signs of October appear when Wawa replaces its coffee flavors with pumpkin spice variations. Within that same week, spider webs and ghost decorations go up over a month ahead of time in most public places on campus, clearly showing that the College wants us to celebrate Halloween to the utmost. The campus experiences what I’d like to call the Campus Flu, where we literally live through weeks of misery while watching our friends fall ill, only to wake up with terrible colds ourselves.
It is also coincidentally around the same time that Walgreens and Bloom prefer to never ever replace their stocks of Dayquil and Sudafed, forcing students to resort to calling their parents for packages of Halls, cookies and extra-soft tissues. As most students cough and sniff their way through class, chilly fall nights showcase the student body’s diversity as a mass of North Face jackets, Sperrys, more North Face jackets and brightly colored rain boots take over the classrooms.
If that wasn’t enough to warn us about the coming of cooler air, Homecoming and sorority clue weeks are usually focal points for the month of October. As construction on our campus rushes to finish the latest project so all of the Alumni will be impressed and donate when they visit during their designated weekend, sororities take over our campus with flower hours, gift bags, not-so-clear water bottles and now officially banned costumes. In fact, starting this week, snagging a seat in Lodge 1 or the Sadler Center Terrace will be next to impossible because of flower vases. Additionally, Swem will soon be filled with giggling freshmen partaking in epic games of Indiana Jones and Nerf guns, while the Commons Dining Hall will become filled with not-so-sober games of Twister and Truth-or-Dare.
November follows similar traditions, with our dining halls weekly sporting variations of stuffing and questionably fresh turkey (which reminds me, dearest newbies, avoid fish dishes at all costs). We then follow up with constant cider-mug runs in Colonial Williamsburg, where the cold weather makes the horse droppings that much more bearable, particularly when they stick to the bottom of your shoe. At the same time, cold mornings make runners that much more sparse, so that students can safely walk with their boxes of Dunkin Donuts munchkins and coffee without regretting their lack of exercise. Unfortunately, the number of cyclists picks up, which makes your daily trek to class even more dangerous as they speed down the hill in front of the Crim Dell and imagine that you have nothing better to do but to jump out of the way.
Fortunately, the month of November always has a happy ending – a week with the family eating endless amounts of turkey and pumpkin pie, ignoring all signs of upcoming final exams until the very last day.
However, before I get carried away with December, I’d like to continue ignoring the existence of final exams and to leave you with one last thought: Autumn may be the perfect time to take part in all of our traditions, but it is also your last chance to branch out during the year of 2011. So relax, take a deep breath and try something new. I would recommend starting with a new flavor at Baskin Robbins, or if you’re looking to go completely out of your comfort zone, the plain yogurt flavor at Sweetfrog – simple yet absolutely and completely delicious.
__Dasha Godunova is a Confusion Corners columnist and wishes that the recent rain was filled with pumpkin spice lattes to usher in the fall season.__