Fall stands as a staple season for numerous people around the world, even if your region doesn’t experience the prime fall weather. In recent years, the autumn season has grown in popularity and created a vastly dominant name for itself. Specifically, for college students, the fall semester definitely holds the title of “The Best Semester,” beating out the spring and summer opponents. Even though some dread it, as it marks the beginning of the school year, it surely beats out the spring semester. While the reasons vary for individual universities and colleges across the country, it’s safe to say that these are some of the common denominators linking the beloved season to the best time of the school year.

1. Everything is New and Exciting

For most students, the fall semester marks the beginning of the school year. The fresh start allows students to feel new and as if life is full of opportunities. Clubs and organizations advertise their openings campus wide, everyone is open to making friendships or networking and students tend to be more excited before all of the semester stresses begin. It’s the time of year where “no” is a foreign word in your vocabulary, because the college mindset is to try everything once. When you have a positive attitude about this fresh start, you’re more likely to go out and try new things, making your overall college experience better. In addition to trying new things, you’re more dedicated to making an effort in your classes; classes are also more appealing in the fall because you’ve been away for three months. Only a few short months after the beginning of the year comes Fall Break for some lucky schools, then Thanksgiving and Winter Break a few weeks later. Once the calendar hits October, school flies by and before you know it, there’s three finals and two papers due on the same day.

2. Football Season

Without a doubt, football games are my favorite part of the fall semester. If you’re at a school without a team, I’m so sorry. Attending a school that had a football team was a must in my college search, and a requirement that I don’t regret. As most students know, waking up before noon on a Saturday morning isn’t a common occurrence, but for a football game, it’s definitely worth it. A pre-game tailgate is a great way to feel involved on campus, spend time with friends, meet new people and have some great food.

Saturday football games and tailgates? Absolutely (Image via Cassaundra Rose Photography)

Sometimes, especially for homecoming or rivalry weekends, school’s will hand out free food themselves, which is every student’s dream. Even week night games are enjoyable and serve as a good break from academic work. I’ve even had professors who give extra credit for going to games sometimes. Then, if your school has a winning team, playoffs, bowl games and tournaments come into the equation, which raises the intensity. Whether or not your school is in the NCAA Division 1 League, a member of The Big Ten Conference or at any other level, the games are a great time to show school spirit.

3. The Weather

The weather factor varies from school to school. Speaking from experience, I’ve grown up and attended school in the Midwest throughout my adolescence, and for some foolish reason chose a university in the same region. So, the weather here is too extreme about 60 percent of the year, not counting a few calm weeks in fall and spring. Although, the fall weather is considerably better because it’s leading towards the cool side, rather than the warmer end of the spectrum. Walking to class in the perfect mix of cool and hot air is a great feeling, especially after the heat of a long summer. Plus, it’s nice to add in the scenery of the leaves changing colors throughout autumn, before they’re vacant during the long winter months.

4. Fall Festivities

While fall holds the opportunity for more activities around campus, there’s also more reasons to get off campus and celebrate the time of year. For example, our campus offers trips to Six Flags Great America Fright Fest or to local pumpkin patches, any place that encourages community involvement or bonding with other students. Also, these off campus excursions are usually offered at a discounted price, even more of a reason for you to check them out. Even if your campus doesn’t offer experiences like the ones above, create your own. Find a local pumpkin patch or apple orchard, plan a costume party for Halloween or arrange a scary movie night with people from your classes. The fall celebrations make it so much easier to get involved on campus and meet new people; maybe you’ll find a group of friends who love horror movies as much as you. But don’t worry, if you’re like me, there’s people out there too who’d rather watch “Hocus Pocus.”

5. The Fall Basics

Yeah, a lot of the reasons above make the fall semester great, but let’s be honest, the basic autumn features are to thank for making the school days so much better. First off, the clothes; it might be the most basic thing to say about the season, except pumpkin spice lattes, but it’s a crowd favorite. Nothing beats sweater weather, especially wearing those comfy items of clothing to class. On most campuses, a sweater with leggings looks more put together and socially acceptable than sweatshirts and sweats, yet both provide the same level of comfort. Even without the knitted trends, the fashion in fall is undoubtedly the best, with the variety of jackets, denim and boots making their way into the trends. Along with the fashion, the food and scents make the season and semester ten times more homey. The scent of apple cinnamon or pumpkins can turn any drowsy day into a lively moment, whether you’re in a dorm, apartment or classroom.

The list above obviously doesn’t cover everything wonderful about the fall semester; Those aspects vary from school to school. Your school may have some outstanding tradition that defines the semester as number one, making students look forward to it for four years. Whether or not that’s true, the fall semester easily has more to offer students than the spring, and the time of year definitely makes it superior, awarding it the title of “The Best Semester.”

Writer Profile

Lauren Clohessy

Northern Illinois University

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