Fall is Upon Us!

Fall is Upon Us!

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile" - William Cullen Bryant
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When I was a kid, I used to hate fall because it meant that I had to go back to school and my freedom was over. However, as I got older I realized that fall was actually pretty great. There's so much packed into about three months which makes it go by super fast (unfortunately). Overall, fall is probably one of the most underrated seasons there is. There's so many amazing things about this time of year that makes it actually worth loving. Here's a few to try and convince you.

Pumpkin Spice

This is one of the dead giveaways it's the change of season. Suddenly the grocery stores and coffee shops (ahem, Starbucks) begin to advertise this flavor. Pumpkin spice is what fall tastes like, you can't even deny it.


The Photography

People always take advantage of the changing leaves. Some have rich red hues, while others are a warm orange color and then some have a muted yellow color. This makes for some incredible photography if you play your cards right (aka go outside).

Football

The staple fall sport is upon us. From a home football game at your alma mater high school on Friday night, to an Alabama game on Saturday (Roll Tide!) to an NFL game on Sunday (Go Pack!). Your whole weekend can be spent watching this all-American sport.

Giant Sweaters

Giant sweaters are a staple part of 90% of girls wardrobes in the fall season. It's so easy to look like you're trying when really, you totally could've slept in that sweater the night before (I may or may not be guilty of this).

Halloween

If you say that you don't like Halloween you're lying. It's a night where you can dress up as whatever you want, party, or stay home and watch scary movies. Either way, the next day they have a ton of discounted candy that you can buy and stress eat for the next couple of months. Any way you chose look at it, there's something good about it.

Weather

Finally, you can go outside without collapsing from heatstroke or having your fingers get so cold that you can't use them for anything. It's riveting!

If this didn't convince you, there's no hope for you. So my advice that I leave with you is to enjoy this incredible season and everything that comes with it! Go on hay rides! Carve pumpkins with people you love! Go to haunted houses! Watch football! (If you don't already) It's an amazing time of year, you should take advantage of it before you can't leave your house because there's a blizzard going on outside (one of the perks of living in NEPA).

Happy Fall, everyone!

Cover Image Credit: Tony Bendele

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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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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