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The ABC’s of Autumn in State College

As of today, it is officially autumn in State College, or what you might know better as Instagram and pumpkin spice latte season. Autumn just seems to bring out the basic in all of us as the trees change color and we brace for the endless winter of State College.

But not everything about autumn in college is basic. Take a look at what stands out most about autumn in Happy Valley, from A-Z.

Apartment hunting. It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the time when you and the 1-5 people that you can handle for extended periods of time scramble to find a reasonably priced apartment before they’re all taken. (Just kidding, none of them are reasonably priced.)

Boots, from combat to over-the-knee and everything in between.

Chilling in the HUB or somewhere else on campus between classes, because you might freeze to death commuting back and forth to campus.

Delivery is your friend. When just the thought of walking to the dining commons makes you cold, order foodHashtag dorm probs.

Exams. Now that we are almost a month into classes, be prepared for the onslaught of papers, tests, midterms, and late night cram sessions that will leave your brain dead.

Farmers Market. Bonus points if you actually buy something, instead of walking around just to say you went.

Going a little accessory crazy and buying however many infinity scarves, floppy hats, pairs of gloves, and other cozy accessories as your budget will allow.

Hayrides are a must. And if you don’t have a decent sized Facebook album of pictures, it didn’t happen.

Instagramming the beautifully colored trees (or your tasty latte).

Jumping in piles of leaves, even though OPP just raked them into a neat little pile, just to live out your childhood fantasies of jumping in giant leaf piles.

Knowing that eternal winter is near. Curl up into the fetal position and cry now, before your tears freeze on your wind-chilled face.

Layering, because you never know with State College weather if you’ll need a short-sleeved shirt or a parka, so dressing accordingly is a necessary evil.

“My school is prettier than yours” snapchats.

Nap, because hibernation isn’t an option.

Oversized sweatshirts are your friend.  Even better if you have no idea who the sweatshirt belongs to, or how it got in your closet.

Pumpkin. Spice. Lattes. 

Quick transitions. Fall doesn’t last long in State College. It’s about a two week period, between the brief summer period in August and the eight months of winter between September and April.

Rain boots. (Rain optional.)

Sitting in the Arboretum, Beaver Stadium, Pattee Mall, or any other area on campus and thinking about how #blessed we are to attend such a beautiful University.

Tailgating. The promise of warm, spiked drinks and hot food from happy Penn State parents will motivate us to get out of bed and brave the cold on game day.

Uggs. Mocs, boots, whatever — you name it, basics are wearing them.

Very early Halloween preparations. Even though Halloween itself falls into Happy Valley’s “winter,” fall is the time when you start planning what group-wide costumes you’re going to force the rest of your friends to don for that perfect “look how many friends I have” Instagram.

Wearing flannels even when you’re not attending a hayride/chopping down a tree with a group of lumberjacks.

xFinity On Demand, kids. Snuggle up in your sweatsuit and watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

Yoga pants. Short-shorts and sundresses season may be gone, but fear not — a new season hath arrived, and it’s full of elastic pants that snugly hug the butts of the girls walking up Shortlidge in front of you to class every morning.

Zzzzzzzz. That’s the sound of you getting bored with the onslaught of tweets, Instagrams, and Facebook posts about the temperate dropping. Welcome to Pennsylvania! Prop bets on Pumpkin Spice Latte posts, anyone?

About the Author


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