Fall weather beckons sense of community

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GRAPHIC BY ALAN ZHENG / THE FLAT HAT

“Come on guys, let’s head downstairs!”

As my roommate carries the pumpkin bread batter and puts it in the oven, I take out my phone to set a timer for 35 minutes. We head back to our dorm, and my roommate goes to her laptop to play the movie, “Mamma Mia.” Life at the College of William and Mary on campus during the autumn season is way different from when I was at home. As a freshman, I find it difficult to make friends and meet new people. However, engaging in activities such as baking and watching movies on Fridays or Saturdays has allowed me to develop these strong friendships. On Sundays, my roommates and I usually brunch and rate certain fall drinks from local coffee shops in Williamsburg — I believe that the chai latte will always be my go-to fall drink. With COVID-19 restrictions, it has been very difficult meeting other people from different halls, thus making it easier to establish strong connections with my hallmates. These activities are gradually becoming a part of my autumn traditions at the College, creating a sense of community.

My roommates and I love to do fall baking, which is very different from what I do with my friends in Arlington, Va. Last year, when I was a senior in high school, my friends and I only planned a few festive activities relating to autumn, such as carving pumpkins at someone’s house. Personally, I believe that I do more festive activities with my family at home. For example, my family and I love to drink apple cider, visit apple orchards and bake other fall treats.

“The transition to fall in Williamsburg has also been a very gradual process, which is different from my hometown.”

The autumn weather in Williamsburg is also very different from my hometown in Arlington. As the bright sun rises, I can feel a cold breeze as I wake up from the sound of my alarm. Waking up in the morning of Williamsburg can feel slightly chilling. It makes me not want to get out of bed. This reminds me of the weather from Arlington. However, towards the afternoon Williamsburg tends to get a little warmer, which can cause me to regret my typical fall outfit — a delicate, wooly sweater. However, fall in Arlington usually stays chilly throughout the whole day. In Williamsburg, I personally believe layers such as cardigans and scarves are the best alternative to thick sweaters since the temperature is constantly changing throughout the day.

The transition to fall in Williamsburg has also been a very gradual process, which is different from my hometown. As a freshman at the College, I was required to move into my dorm a few weeks before Labor Day. We were told to pack light, for two to three weeks’ worth of clothes. We were told to not bring winter clothes because we were not sure how long students would be staying in their dorms. After realizing that we would be staying on campus for a longer period of time and noticing the weather change, I decided to tell my parents to mail me my winter-appropriate clothing. In Arlington, the first day of school always felt like the beginning of autumn since we began classes after Labor Day.

Overall, I feel that the atmosphere in Williamsburg and Arlington differ in so many ways. However, I believe that the fall traditions I create with my friends at the College help bring the autumn spirit that I would normally have in my hometown of Arlington.

Email Bushra Bablu at bebablu@email.wm.edu.