The foliage on campus and in New England is starting to transform into striking colors, which give me joy as I stroll through campus. The air is crisp and refreshing. The shortened days culminate in beautiful sunsets, which I make sure to capture every night. There’s no mistaking it — fall has begun.
Fall is easily one of my favorite seasons, second to summer. I love Halloween, going to pumpkin patches and cider mills, and dressing for the colder weather. And the season is especially amazing in New England. Since I am from Washington state, the fall foliage in New England is that much more spectacular to me. Not that fall isn’t beautiful in Washington, but New England certainly has brighter colors and more trees that shed their leaves, while Washington has a lot of evergreen trees. It is always interesting to compare the nature and scenery of the east coast to the west coast.
Some of my favorite things about fall at Holy Cross, in particular, are attending events on the Hoval (the Hogan Oval) that offer caramel apples and other fall treats, getting apple cider at Cool Beans, wearing sweaters to stay warm on The Hill, and having events such as Family Weekend. All of these activities allow us to feel more connected as a community and enjoy everyone’s company.
The coziness of fall serves as a reminder for me to prioritize my comfort and wellbeing amid the busyness of life at Holy Cross. There’s something about the cold weather of fall and staying indoors that prompts me to reflect on how I can better take care of myself. And sometimes that means resting or taking a nap if I am tired, instead of pushing myself to the limit. It is especially important to take care of myself right now, amid the ongoing pandemic that still affects us all psychologically and socially. Through my self-care, I can embody the Jesuit concept of cura personalis (“care for the whole person”), since I focus on also caring for my mental health and not only my academics. This is a difficult, yet crucial. I am grateful for the changing seasons, which provide me with an opportunity to reflect on my life and shift my values accordingly.