18 Reasons Fall Is Clearly The Superior Season, From Fashion To Pumpkin Patches

18 Reasons Fall Is Clearly The Superior Season, From Fashion To Pumpkin Patches

18 things that make fall amazing.

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So many fun things can happen in fall and make this season more exciting with plenty of activities that everyone can agree on.

1. Apple and Pumpkin Picking

Jordyn

Whether it is with your friends or family, you can make a fun day out of it.

2. Hiking 

With the crisp air, it makes hiking a great Saturday afternoon activity.

3. Haunted Houses 

Cute date night? If you guys are into scary things?

4. Pumpkin Carving 

After the long day of pumpkin picking, set up a carving station to decorate each pumpkin.

5. Pumpkin Flavored Things 

Starbucks and Dunkin all start selling everything with pumpkin in it.

6. Apple Cider and Apple Cider Donuts 

Single best part of fall. No questions asked.

7. Trick or Treating

You get free candy and it's amazing.

8. Sweatshirt and Sweater Weather

With the cool air, it feels great to just throw a sweatshirt on and be comfortable.

9. Boots

Black and brown boots are a staple in your closet, they go with every outfit.

10. Flannels

Just throw it on over a shirt and it automatically feels like fall.

11. Sports 

Jordyn

Baseball playoffs and football. But we all know playoffs are more important.

12. Bath and Body Works

They have scents for anyone and everyone and the house smells like fall all the time.

13. Thanksgiving Break 

Break always comes at a perfect time.

14. Thanksgiving Food

All the home cooked food, putting yourself into a food coma.

15. Homecoming 

Jordyn

Happy Hoco 2018.

16. Leaves change colors

Driving down the road becomes a gorgeous drive, admiring all of the trees.

17. Pie

Apple. Pumpkin. Blueberry.

18. Halloween

Jordyn

Coordinating your costume with your friends is the best part.

And now we just wait for summer 2019.

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22 Signs You're a Region Rat

Close enough to Chicago to claim it yet still maintain our own identity
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You can take someone out of the Region, but you can't take the Region out of someone. In a mysterious way, it always seems to bring you back. You have to admit to having pride a little bit of pride relating to at least one of these instances.

1. Being called a "rat" is a compliment, not an insult.

2. You're not even phased when a camel's walking down the middle of the street.


(The language may be a bit much, but what else would you expect from the Region?)

3. You never called Southlake "Westfield" when it changed ownerships. TG it's Southlake, again.

4. There's no better greeting than the sweet smell of the BP oil refineries in Whiting or the steel mills in Gary.

5. You call the expressways by their number, not their name.


"Which is better to avoid Chicago traffic, 80/94 or 90?"

6. Also, yes it is "expressway." It's not "freeway" or "highway." Don't bother arguing.

7. You see more Illinois license plates at gas stations, liquor stores, and cigarette places in the Region than actually in Illinois.

8. It's a sin if you haven't been to Pierogi Fest in a while. It's a greater sin if you've never been to Pierogi Fest.


How can you live with yourself turning down the opportunity to hang out with Mr. Pierogi, Miss Paczki, and the Babushka Brigade?!

9. Pretty much anywhere south of Highland (aka Munster, Schererville, St. John, Dyer, etc.) is considered very fancy.

10. Whenever introducing yourself to new people, you say you're from Chicago just so you can avoid "wait, where is *insert Region city/town* again?"

11. People telling you that you have a Chicago accent and Chicagoans vehemently disagreeing with them.

12. Getting a grimacing look from people when you say your hometown isn't that far from Gary.

13. Lake Central should be its own town with how many kids go there. Seriously.

14. You know how Lincoln's and Miner Dunn are underrated gold mines when it comes to good food.

15. You ride or die with Chicago sports — Bulls, Hawks, Cubs, Sox. If not, you may be ostracized (you probably will).


Even staying loyal to Da Bears because 1985 will always be da best. (There's still a sliver of hope).

16. St. Thomas More and/or SJE always dominated the CYO Christmas tournament during basketball season. Actually, they pretty much dominated in any sport.

17. No other area has anything on our alcohol tolerance. Not a thing.

18. Getting our sources of information from NWI Gazette instead of NWI Times.

19. Following @RegionRatRants never fails to make you laugh, then cry with its accuracy.


One minute it's hilarious for how true it is, the next it's shame for how true it is.

20. By the time the Cline exit off of Calumet gets fixed, hell would have frozen over and it'll be the 12th of never.

21. Your heart breaks a little bit every time Munster Donut is closed because someone drove into it. Again.


This is why we can't have nice things.

22. No matter how much you look forward to leaving, it'll always be home to you as "Chicago's little sibling."

Cover Image Credit: AA Roads

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The Permanence Of Recovery

Trying to explain what it's like when my brain is louder than my stomach.

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I never had an eating disorder.

I say it like that because I didn't. I was never diagnosed with anorexia, or bulimia, or binge eating disorder, or anything else that constitutes a medical resentment to consumption.

A diagnosis would give the issue a name, it would give it a face, which would make it that much more real.

My relationship with food and exercise--and with my body in general--has always been a very complicated thing. I never had an eating disorder, but I never knew how to eat a normal amount and not feel a sense of lingering guilt.

But most days eating always felt like a tug-of-war. I knew that I needed to eat, you know, to survive. The voice in the back of my head eventually became the voice at center-stage of my head. It added up every calorie I took, subtracted every sit-up, embellished my failure when I slipped up. I could never satisfy this voice.

There was always more water to drink, more distance to run, more meals to be stared at and then pushed aside. Sometimes the tug-of-war was just flat out war.

Growing up as a teenage girl in North America, over-exercising and never eating enough is just a part of life. Looking in the mirror and not seeing the human embodiment of an issue of Vogue was grounds for self-hatred. So I recorded everything I ate, tracked every step I took and grew progressively more proud of myself for looking at a glamour magazine.

But humans are not meant to fit in the shiny pages of lifestyle media. I am still trying to learn that. I am learning what it means to not imagine every calorie sticking to my body as if I were made of honey. I know now that it is not normal to make my nutrient intake at the end of each day add up to zero. I am still learning what balance looks like.

The permanence of recovering from living in a state of deprivation is hardly recovery at all. It is work. It is realizing sickness looks different on every body type. It is pushing away the first wave of shame when anything sweet or carb-heavy makes it past your lips. And the second wave. It is living in a world that told you a substantial body is hardly worthy of tolerance, let alone love.

There are little victories. There is a brunch with family or friends. Being so caught up in conversation and the morning's first cup of coffee, with a little extra sweetener, that eating is a breeze. There is fast food after concerts or a night out. So hungry in the middle of the night that you don't even think about reaching for a second taco from the consistently mediocre Taco Bell.

But there are holidays, and birthday cake, another glass of sweet tea, please. Sometimes it's hard not to return to old habits and fall back into the familiar cycle of restriction and denial.

This year and beyond I vow to seek balance. I vow to treat my body with kindness. I want to eat in a way that promotes healthiness, not sickliness, on either side of the scale. I am exhausted. I am tired of the dining hall being the battleground and I'm the one holding the weapon. I am tired of destruction and resentment. This year, I am embracing every curve, every soft whisper, every sigh of relief that I am composed of.

While I am not where I want to be, I am miles from where I started. And that is something to celebrate.

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