12 Reasons To Be Happy About The Fall And Winter Seasons

12 Reasons To Be Happy About The Fall And Winter Seasons

Don't just rake those leaves and shovel that snow.
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With the fall season comes many leaves to rake and air that is just cold enough to pierce through you. The days begin to get darker earlier, and the bags of leaves out front continuously appear. Eventually, winter creeps up on us and the days get even colder and darker. There's snow to shovel, and minimal amounts of sunshine to absorb for vitamin D. The cold season can be tough, but here is a list of things that you can look forward to!

1. You can go apple and pumpkin picking!

Not only is picking apples and pumpkins fun, but it is a great opportunity for artsy photos as well. It can be a nice date with your significant other to enjoy some fresh air. Then after you're done "picking shit" as my boyfriend comically refers to it...

2. Make apple and pumpkin pie!

Baking with my mom always makes me happy and relieves stress. And as "they" say stressed spelled backwards is desserts! If you do not like eating pie, bake some anyway, and sell them at a bake sale to the normal people who do!

3. Um hello...Halloween! Who doesn't love dressing up and getting free candy?

Go trick-or-treating! If you feel too old, take a younger sibling or cousin to make you feel more youthful. Don't be that guy who takes their hard-earned goodies.

3. Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure

They have fun shows and singing monsters during the day and then some legit looking zombies come out at night.

4. Corn mazes and haunted houses are great activities for groups.

Go get lost in a corn maze with your friends...or your enemies.

5. You can play in the piles of leaves!

Jumping in leaves and making a mess is always fun! Well, maybe not so much for the person who has to rake them back up, but they can get over it.

6. It's finally time to wear cute, warm scarves, boots, and flannels..

Unless you're Sam, Dean, and Bobby... every day is flannel day. Also, if you don't have any cute scarves, I'm sorry. But on the bright side - you can make your own! Here's a link to DIY arm knit scarves: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&so...

7. Beautiful scenery

There is a lot of beauty in both fall and winter to admire. Take pictures and make memories.

8. We gain an extra hour of sleep when Daylight Savings Time ends!

I know I can always use some more sleep.

9. Thanksgiving

Food, family, friends, football, and more food. What could be better?

10. Warm fires

Relax by a nice warm fire with your family. If you don't have a fireplace then you can always put on the yule log channel on TV. Cuddle up and watch your favorite show or movie. Read a good book...or a really bad one and then burn it. Play board games in front of it; the possibilities are endless.

11. Hot cocoa

It doesn't matter if you like putting hot water or milk, hot cocoa is amazing on cold days. Add a peppermint stick if you're feeling wild.

12. Snow tubing, sledding, skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, ice-fishing

A lot of snow to shovel means a lot of fun activities! Garbage can lids can be a good substitute for sleds. Wii ski is also a lot of fun if you don't think you handle the challenge of actually skiing.

Cover Image Credit: Caitlyn Conselyea

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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6 Ways To Start Pre-Gaming Your Summer Plans Today

A few ways to help you prepare for summer.

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Summer is coming sooner rather than later and we all need to get ready for it.

1. Start making trip plans now.

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If you are wanting to do a getaway over the summer, I would suggest starting to plan for the trip now. The closer you get to the time in which you want to go, the higher the prices of plane tickets and rooms go up. Also planning ahead gives you the chance to pinpoint exactly how you want to spend your trip and not waste your time. Nothing is worse than going on a trip and being stuck at the hotel the whole time because you have no idea what is our there for you to do.

2. Buy sunscreen.

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Do you really want to end up like her? I don't think so. Even if you are the type of person with the mentality that you will only be out in the sun for a short period of time, it doesn't matter. We all need sunscreen. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and we need to take care of it. Think of it this way, do you want to have sunspots when you're old? Or would you rather maintain your youthful appearance for as long as you can?

3. Find a new hobby.

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Let's be honest here for a minute, the majority of us do absolutely nothing over summer break and feel no guilt for it. I have done this several times over the years, and I now look back and realize all the time I wasted not learning or doing something new. If you are working full-time, have summer school, or a summer internship this does not apply to you unless you have the time to do so.

For the rest of y'all, get up and learn something. Learn how to knit. Take a kickboxing class. Try out new hiking places. Start learning another language, or continue practicing the one you learned in school at places where the language is commonly used. Get outside of your comfort zone!

4. De-stress and dispose.

You are so close to summer sometimes it stresses you out trying to get everything done. You need to realize that summer isn't going anywhere and you will get there eventually. Take a deep breathe and keep going. What I like to do is start throwing out the paperwork from this semester that I know I will never use again, don't want, and papers that I don't plan on using for the upcoming final. Disposing of those papers helps me visualize that the semester is almost over.

5. Buy a new swimsuit.

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Before you go out and buy a bunch of new swimsuits, try your old ones on first and see if they fit. Sometimes you just need a new top to match the bottoms that you already have or vice versa. Also, if you know that you are not going to buy a swimsuit for the pool or beach several times throughout the summer, don't waste your money on a new swimsuit. The one from last year that you never wore will do just fine.

Save Money

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The simplest way to understand it is no saving = no money to spend during summer. If you have all kinds of different trips and things you want to do that cost a fee, it would be wise to start saving up for all of your other expenses that you would normally have to pay per month like insurance, phone, or a car payment. I will be in the car payment category since I just bought a new one a few weeks ago.

That being said, my first car payment is due the week I am in New York. I don't want my New York money to be used for a car payment, so I've been taking extra shifts at work to compensate. I have also started going through my closet and selling the items I don't want anymore. There are several resale stores and places online for you to sell your unwanted clothes and other items to put some extra cash in your pocket.

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