For someone like me from the Northeast, fall is more than just a season: it encompasses all aspects of my lifestyle from September to November. I’m always cozied up in a bright-colored sweater, drinking a seasonal hot tea and finishing off the day with a fall-themed movie (when I have time in between studying for midterms). Although trying to tackle all the elements of having a festive fall season can seem daunting, my suggestions should help make the process more seamless and enjoyable. 

Sweater Weather

Both high-end and affordable brands are bringing out their sweaters for the fall season, and a common theme seems to be loose sweaters in bright color waves. The Agatha Balloon Sleeve Sweater from Urban Outfitters features a slouchy crew neck-style fit with dropped, long balloon sleeves and tight banding at the cuffs, hem and neck. Its pastel shades of yellow, brown and purple go great with the muted colors of fall. Although on the pricier side, if you’re looking for something that will last for years, maybe give up a few pumpkin spice lattes and invest in the $69 warm and trendy sweater.

A more affordable option is the Knit Mock-turtleneck Sweater from H&M. This loose turtleneck sweater with balloon sleeves has tight banding around the cuffs and hem, like the balloon sweater from Urban Outfitters. Uniquely made from recycled polyester material, you can still be trendy while feeling good about your impact on the planet. The $34.99 sweater comes in dark green and grey, and the fit and quality of the material make the product an affordable and worthwhile investment. 

Atlanta Outings

B.J. Reece Orchards, a local apple orchard in Ellijay, Ga., is a great place to go apple picking  with your friends to get into the fall mood while also taking a much-needed break from the stress of impending finals. With a petting zoo and on-site bakery, along with 20 different types of apples, there is plenty to do for a couple of hours. Although an hour and a half from campus, the orchard makes for a great weekend road trip. Surrounded by the colorful forests shedding their leaves on the Blue Ridge Mountains, you may even consider staying a full weekend and setting up camp in the many national parks around the area.

For those looking for something closer to Emory, Fall Art Festival will take place in East Atlanta Village Farmers Market, a 15-minute drive from campus, on Nov. 16 from 12 p.m. to 6 pm. Nestled within the brightly colored and artistic neighborhood, the festival will host 30 local vendors and will feature art, food and music. Since the area is always busy with events, consider taking that Saturday off and exploring the graffiti-filled walls and Atlanta-based cuisines of East Atlanta.

Season’s Best Binges

The plethora of fall-themed movies and TV shows are also an essential staple of the fall season. My personal recommendations for great fall movies are “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Good Will Hunting.” Both movies take place in a classic fall atmosphere, so sit back, relax and pull out those fuzzy socks because I’m sure that these movies can please even the pickiest of film fanatics.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is the perfect balance between the recently departed spookiness of Halloween and the soon-to-be holiday cheer. If you’re still not quite over the sombre feeling of October, grab a couple of friends, pop some popcorn and beat the cold weather with some much-needed reminiscing of Halloween. 

“Good Will Hunting” tells the story of a gifted janitor with a genius-level IQ working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When it was released in 1997, the movie received many awards, such as the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay — perfect for anyone who loves highbrow cinema.

Cozy Sips

If you’re a cold brew fan and want to add a little fall flavoring to the boring cold brew flavor, consider heading over to Aurora Coffee in Little Five Points, just a 15-minute drive from campus. The coffee shop offers their “Bear Menu,” which consists of eight distinct cold brew-flavored concoctions. The 12-ounce Red Bear, just $3.25, pairs a surprisingly toasty gingerbread flavor with almond milk and a rich cold brew flavor profile. It makes for a much-needed boost of energy while still highlighting the classic flavor of fall. If you’re looking for something a little more winter-themed, the Polar Bear, featuring peppermint and white chocolate syrup, is the way to go.

For a drink closer to campus, the Mighty Leaf Tea Masala Chai tea bags sold at Peet’s Coffee are also a win. It has a nice cinnamon taste that fits in with the coziness of fall. I recommend steeping the tea for at least five to seven minutes so that flavors can evenly disperse throughout the hot water; otherwise, it’s quite bland. Although a little pricey at $2.40 for 12 ounces for a drink you must steep yourself, if you need a quick and relatively cheap drink to warm you up during this cold weather, it is definitely worth trying once.

Final Thoughts

From apple picking to visiting festivals around Georgia to mixing up your boring coffee with seasonal drinks to indulging in hours of movies, there is no limit to the amount of things that you can do during the fall season. With the plethora of opportunities around Atlanta available to students, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate this time of the year.