Berkeley Autumnsby Nina Udomsak on Oct, 01 2012
I love autumn––the colors, the fashion, the indoor warmth and coziness. I also hate autumn––the goodbye to summer, the return of coughs and sneezes, the reminder that ‘tis the season to be studying. September 22th marked the official autumnal equinox, and the day we realize that we’ve been in school for a month and crap, that midterm is coming up soon. To me, however, it is not the date, nor the amount of time I spend procrastinating, that makes it feel like autumn has arrived in Berkeley. Instead, I look for the signs:
Mother nature’s mood swings. Last week, I woke up to a cloudy sky and left my apartment wearing a hoodie, scarf, and boots. At 2pm, I stuffed my jacket and scarf into my purse, found refuge from the heat in Yogurtland AND Jamba Juice, and found myself running home to change into shorts and a T-shirt. By the end of my club meeting at night, I walked home shivering, sniffling, and silently cursing Berkeley’s infamous bipolar weather. Better get used to it now, Baby Golden Bears. I wish I had read Kiara’s advice that day.
Less variety in clothing. Hey, that guy is wearing the same club jacket that you have on. Oh look, two girls walking together are dressed exactly alike. And Cal sweatshirts… Cal sweatshirts everywhere. Is it Twin Day? No, it’s just fall in Berkeley! I do love fall fashion, but unfortunately in Berkeley, it’s overpowered by fall apathy. Students throw on their default sweatshirts embroidered with Berkeley symbols, Greek letters, or club names, despite the fact that several people they know own the same one. Girls slip into their leggings and resurrect their Uggs and top it all off with those North Face jackets that apparently all college females have to own (it makes those of us without one wonder when we missed the memo). It’s that time of year––when Berkeley’s depressing weather and even more depressing class curves prompt our eyes to focus less on the mirrors, and more on the readers. But so what if you’re dressed like half the campus today? Strut down that Sproul catwalk with conviction anyway, because you’re about ready to kill that section quiz.
Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. They say life’s short… so stay awake for it. And who knows this better than Berkeley students? Some of you may have learned that the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world is none other than caffeine (followed by alcohol, tobacco, betel palm nut, and cannabis––thanks MCB 61!). Personally, I maintain the espresso in my veins with Starbucks. And nothing says autumn is in the air like the return of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Halloween gear and season premieres. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I walk into Walgreen’s; the bags on bags on bags of Halloween candy are dangerously tempting. And YES, the return of our favorite fall TV shows––what better way to procrastinate than to stuff yourself with chocolate while watching How I Met Your Mother? And who could forget the best part of Halloween: the costumes. A wise woman once said, “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” (Can’t afford to buy a new costume? The Spirit Halloween store on Shattuck is hiring!)
As we study our sanity away while our fellow UC’s are enjoying Welcome Week activities, let’s not neglect the season upon us. Dress up, be fancy, and look good (and different from the sweatshirt herd!) for your midterm or presentation. Take a break from your problem set for a coffee run, some candy corn, or an episode of 30 Rock. Lay in the grass when the sun actually decides to shine, and soak up the final rays reminiscent of summer.
Remember that there is more to college (and life) than the numbers and letters that we work so hard for. And there is so, so much more to midterm season than midterms.