Living in Washington, D.C. is an amazing experience and the city offers so many opportunities that enhance my college experience everyday. Living in the same city as our president and living blocks away from our national monuments is inspiring, and being surrounded by ambitious and intelligent students, professors, and politicians motivates me to be the best version of myself, but still in mid October, I feel as though something is missing from this city.
It’s hard to be homesick in a city as busy and distracting as Washington D.C., but when I realize I still walk to class in shorts and flip flops and when I wake up to dreary, rainy days, I realize how some of the seasonal changes of fall don’t exist in this city and I start to miss the beautiful falls that I experience at home in Fairfield, Connecticut.
I had lived in Fairfield, Connecticut my whole life and it is much further north than D.C. Living in a rural and forest-filled town has spoiled me with the most beautiful and fullest falls that D.C. has deprived me of. I was lucky enough to also have a house in Easton, Connecticut, which was only a town over form Fairfield, but it entailed about a twenty-minute drive. When my mom moved there, I wasn’t ready to accept the changes, but as fall came around, I started to really appreciate the twenty minutes I had to myself in my car driving through the beautiful roads of Easton.
I drove from Fairfield to Easton almost everyday and as I learned the back roads of Easton more familiarly, I started to purposefully drive off-route on my way home from cheerleading practice and silently admire the beautiful fall foliage, cherishing every minute I had to myself in that car. I would roll down my windows a little bit to catch that pleasant fall night smell that was so specific.
Every morning, I would wake up and step outside in my fall boots and light coat, catching the drift of crisp fall air and get into my car to drive to Fairfield again. As each fall morning passed, I was able to watch the leaves gradually change colors and start to cover more and more of the winding roads.
This beautiful drive passed through many farms and local markets that offered fall activities like apple picking, pumpkin picking, and corn mazes. Fall wasn’t fall unless you did at least one of those things and no apple-picking trip was fulfilled without warm apple cider or a pumpkin donut. Although most people only experience the apple or pumpkin picking experience once a season, I was lucky enough to drive by the beautiful apple orchards every day. Some days before school I would even smell the cider donuts and other fall baked goods baking, tempting me to stop in and pick up breakfast before school.
In Fairfield, fall also meant cheerleading practice, Friday night football games, pep rallies, rival high school soccer games, and a lot of school spirit, and without any of that at GW, I start to miss all of what fall entailed and I become a little bit nostalgic. As much as I have fallen in love with D.C., fall just isn’t the same here without the nature, trees, orchards, and school spirit. The closest thing I’ve experienced that relates to fall is buying a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, but that just isn’t the same as a fresh pumpkin donut or warm apple cider. As November approaches, and I still have yet to notice any seasonal changes and have yet to participate in a fall activity, I really miss my hometown in general at this beautiful time of the year and would do anything to drive that route from Fairfield to Easton that captured all of the best parts of fall so magically