(This article was first published on HerCampus, an online magazine for young women in college, in September of 2017)
It’s almost here. The leaves are turning one at a time, and within the next month we will enter every basic girl’s favorite hashtag friendly season: FALL. But really, who doesn’t love Fall? Especially, after a hot humid Georgia summer, it is a welcome relief to feel a slight chill in the air and find the boots from the back of our closets. So, to give you a leg up in preparing for what’s to come, I’ve put together some things to do in order for you to fully enjoy this wondrous time of Pumpkin Spice Latte’s, UGG’s, and #bonfirenights.
1. Changing Your Wardrobe & Cleaning Out Your Closet
Now, here in Milledgeville it’s a less drastic change so don’t quite put away your flip-flops, since we’ve been known to have some late summer days pop up. But Fall is an opportunity to feel like you’ve gone on a shopping spree as you pull out your winter clothes. Hang some of your favorite sweaters, while considering which jean shorts to put away for the winter. If you don’t normally have a Summer/Winter wardrobe, this is a good time to think about making it so – it will increase your closet space and make it much easier for you to figure out what to wear when you “have nothing to wear”.
This is also an excellent chance to sort through your clothes. What have you not really used all summer? What do you know you’re not going to wear from last winter’s wardrobe? Line it up for pictures and put it on Bobcats Exchange or somewhere else to make a buck for what you might want to buy for this year’s winter wardrobe. Or better yet, throw it in a black plastic bag and head to the Good Will drop off office by Walmart! There are probably other people out there ready to rock what’s sitting unused in your closet.
2. Full On Fall Cleaning
We all know Spring Cleaning – which comes from us being cooped up inside all winter and needing to air out the stuffy atmosphere – but doing a Fall Cleaning will do you well too! Get your home nice and clean so that the cozy nights at home on the couch can be enjoyed guilt free. Make it a weekend thing, blast Spotify or Pandora, and consider it a workout! Go all out too – sweep, vacuum, AND wash the floors, bleach all bleachable surfaces, clean out the freezer and the fridge AND wash all its shelves, get in those nooks and crannies with the duster, and really scrub the shower and toilet squeaky clean. Trust me, it’s an immense feeling of accomplishment when you get through it all – it also makes for much easier upkeep the rest of the semester, and many compliments from visitors.
3. Stock Up on Cold & Flu Medication and Remember to Eat Your Vitamins
It’s getting to be that pesky time where it’s neither quite cold nor quite hot, which means it becomes harder to know just how to dress. Especially with A&S’s unpredictable climate. A sweater is too hot, but a tee too cold. Boots are too warm, but sandals too chilly. This means colds are going to come soaring through hallways, and flu season is knocking on the door. Let’s not let them in. Go stock up on vitamins and healthy food to boost your immune system. But also, go buy that cold and flu medication now. Because nothing feels worse than waking up with a sore throat and dripping nose without DayQuil, cough drops, or Kleenex at hand. Do yourself, and future sick self, a favor and be a mom for a minute. Get DayQuail & NyQuail, Kleenex tissues, cough drops, and a heat pad and vapor rub if you really want to go that extra mile. You’ll thank yourself one fateful day when going to CVS or Walgreens seems dreadful with your sniffles.
4. Buy Lightbulbs, Candles, and Batteries
The sun is slowly starting to hit snooze button in the morning, and its late rise means more darkness, which means we need to produce our own light. This could also work well as a metaphor, but we are seriously moving towards less and less daylight and so be prepared with an army of your own artificial light. In the summer, it rarely matters if a bulb breaks because of the sun’s rays. BUT it can be hard to do homework after dinner if the kitchen light goes out in late October. So, stock up on a couple of bulbs for safe keeping, and batteries don’t hurt either for flashlights or remotes.
But we all know that one of the best things about lack of light is getting to use candles. It’s the added atmosphere, the romance, the smells carelessly drifting to make a homey feel. Whether you’re on the straight up “Fall Leaves” train or the more subtle “Fresh Cotton” feel, something gets in the air when the match lights the wick. It’s a small luxury if coupled with a hot beverage and good company and board games. And an inexpensive one too – you can get good candles at Walmart for less than $5. So, add some cozy to your Fall.
5. Buy Teas, Hot Cocoa, and Coffee or Make Hot Cider
Between the cold and the dark, we need to keep ourselves warm and ‘tis the season for Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Salted Caramel Mochas. It’s time to stock up on your favorite coffee blend or teas, whether it be Pukka’s Relax or just good ole chamomile. The cold mornings are creeping up on us and nothing feels better than to let your fingertips curl around a hot mug after your feet have touched the cold morning floor.
A personal favorite of mine to start off my day, which is both healthy and cozy, is a hot cider. My recipe for a great hot (and healthly) cider goes as follows: half a lime (the squizzed juice, not the whole thing), two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, a big tablespoon (top it off) of raw honey, and a couple of dashes of cinnamon – mix all this with hot water in a mug and it’ll not only heat you up, it’ll speed up your metabolism and kick start your digestion.
6. Make a Movie/Book/Event List
Some want to go apple picking, others leaf peeping, and some just want to snuggle with a blanket and a movie or book. Whatever tickles your fancy, make it a point to do it this Fall. Prioritize yourself and one of these small pleasures. Make a list of 4-5 things, whether it be movies you want to watch, books you want to read, or events you want to attend, and see to it that the time is set aside for you to enjoy these things. We easily get caught up in the semester, and while school is important, a work-life balance is the key to a good mental health. So, make time for yourself and the things that make you happy!