Hey friends! Hope you all are doing well, enjoying this season that has been fall. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and it’s honestly been such a wild time preparing for this mini break. November is almost over (how?!) and I figured it was time to consider the transition from fall to winter. I am super excited for it, even though I don’t like the cold. I’ve got some fun ideas for the blog during my winter break (my last one eek!) and so I welcome the chill. To kick off our transition, I wanted to share with you all what I’ve learned in fall 2021. Hope this inspires you to take some time to reflect on this season of life and what’s to come as we enjoy the holidays and time spent together getting cozy and warm.
What I’ve learned in fall 2021
1 // Time flies
I know we’ve all heard this cliche. But for me, it’s been WAY too real. This has been my last fall semester at college, and it’s been quick. I keep having moments where I’m like this is my last November or this is my last Rotunda Sing (insert event here). Part of me hasn’t fully registered it yet, but the days are long and full, and the weeks just fly by. Especially when they’re filled with fun activities and time with friends that I want to make the most of because we lost a good bit of that with COVID. So yeah, it’s a cliche. But in college, time just flies by.
2 // Making your space a home matters
Space is really important to me. Physical space, emotional space, and mental space. This point is about physical space. We are so good at being thinking creatures and focusing on the power of our brain. Descartes created this dichotomy when he said I think, therefore I am. But you are not just a brain on legs. You are an embodied creature made for good things (and good works!) That said, how your body responds to your space is linked to how your mind responds to your space. So make it a home! Decorate it even if you know you’ll be moving in a year. Drape some cozy blankets around. Put up your favorite band poster (or favorite cat poster *wink*). Be intentional with your space because whether you realize it or not, your space has an impact on how you respond. At the very least, keep it clean and keep it smelling nice. That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed and you’ll enter in and feel at peace.
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3 // Removing something from your life changes your appetite
This is an unexpected development in my life. Okay, that sounds super dramatic. Sorry! But I stopped watching the Bachelor franchise to let a season of Paradise go by. I think Paradise is overwhelming and not good television, but I digress. Anyway, due to the busyness of life and trying to enjoy my in person reality, I didn’t start watching Michelle’s season until later. And when I did try to watch it, I was abhorred at what I was watching. It seemed super dumb and dramatic for no reason. It’s like when you stop eating something for a while (you know this if your friends are gluten or dairy free) and then when you try to eat it again, your body can’t even stomach it anymore. It was surprising. Somehow, a short term removal really switched up what I want to watch and consume. And right now, it’s not the Bachelorette. Tip of the day: if you want to change your capacity/desires, remove something from your life for a period of time.
4 // Reflecting is inherent in a season when you know goodbye is coming
There’s something special about a season like the end of high school or college (although in college, it’s more pronounced). You know that at some point, things will be ending. You may not know the details of that ending and where you’re heading next. But you know that this season you’re in right now will not last. You get the gift that COVID took away from us. You get the gift of saying goodbye.
College students, take advantage of this! There may not be another season in your life (I’m not being dramatic) where you will know that things are ending and you will have a chance to carefully consider how you will finish well and how you will say goodbye. I’ve just been reflecting on what a sweet gift this is. And how so darn lucky I am to get to say goodbye.
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Winnie the Pooh
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5 // Do everything to embed rhythms in your life – you need some semblance of consistency in your life
I know it’s going to sound fun being spontaneous and just letting life happen, but I am here to tell you that this is a recipe for disaster (once again, I am not being dramatic). This semester has been super fun but also super hard. And this is 100% why it’s been so hard. The rhythms I had last semester fell to the wayside for me. Life is usually chaotic, but the one area you have some measure of control is what habits you routinely implement in your life. Do yourself a dang favor and have some consistency. Give yourself something to lean on when life is wildly out of control. Don’t get me wrong—one of my absolute favorite parts of college is waking up and being somewhere completely unexpected at the end of the day. But don’t neglect your wellbeing in the search for some fun. Be good to yourself. This is one way how.
6 // I respond really well to music on grief (at least this fall)
Okay, this one’s kind of dramatic. But it’s also true! I was talking to an acquaintance about some music recommendations and he recommended The Grief Playlist on Spotify. So naturally I looked up the playlist and scrolled through the music to see what artists were featured, as one does. I found out that I legitimately already knew songs on the playlist AND even had favorite songs from that playlist in a few I had recently created. Maybe this means I’m a sucker for music on grief. Maybe this is a season where music on grief consoles me the best. Whatever it means, I really had to do some thinking when I found that out.
Related Post: Books & Songs for Fall 2021
7 // Spend time in the present versus worrying about the future
Maybe this is a bit neglectful of me, but as a college student always on the lookout to avoid responsibilities, this one’s for you! Yes, the future is great to prepare but it’s also stressful. This semester I have only applied for 1 single thing. That’s it. Yes, that is exactly right. You have read that correctly. One thing. I just wanted to spend this semester focusing on what’s currently happening instead of worrying about what could potentially happen. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. What I do know is that I have friendships I want to nurture, assignments I have/get to do, work I enjoy, beauty I photograph. I want to be here now, to watch the changing of the leaves, the color of the sky. I don’t want to miss out on anything focusing on what I can’t control. So the goal is to be present in the present, spending time in the presence with those I love.
That’s it, folks! I really enjoyed this post! Every once in a while, a post will just roll off so beautifully and be a fun thing to write and this is one of those times. Share with me some things you learned below! I’d love to learn more! I hope you are safe and well! And I hope you have a delicious Thanksgiving!