The Meaning Of Fall in Bellingham

The Meaning Of Fall in Bellingham

How I've come to view my autumns.
10
views

Autumn has all of a sudden sprung itself upon me, as it has done since 2011. Clambering up High Street was when I noticed leaves on the ground, and I thought to myself, "Huh, fall is finally here."

My summer consisted of many traveling adventures all over the United States, including Denver, Las Vegas, New York City, and Boston. By the time classes started, I felt refreshed, almost like I had an entire year's break. Nevertheless, I yearned for more freedom, not wanting my body and imagination to be boxed into a classroom. Many students can't wait for school to begin again after they become bored of summer, but going into my fifth year at Western, my enthusiasm for formal education had dwindled. Normally, I am indifferent to the seasons themselves, never preferring any one over the others. Because of now associating warm air and sunny skies with camping, going into different cities, making new friends, and, of course, romance, I have anxiously awaited the onset of autumn. Looking around at people's reactions to the new season, I believe this weather and the resulting lifestyle has value everyone can appreciate and learn from.

The anticipation for (or the jokes about) pumpkin spice lattes, beautiful foliage, and frolicking in the crunchy fallen leaves have been observations I have personally noticed that in the people around me. I hold none of these affinities. I believe beauty can be appreciated during all seasons, even in different terrains, including the oft-ridiculed Eastern Washington. I guess when people imagine autumn, they think of the glowing orange, yellow, and red trees that glisten on the sides of the roads. I see those, but I also notice brown, soggy leaves that saturate the streets and sidewalks. If it weren't for the chillier weather, I could almost pretend autumn isn't happening, because clean-up crews work hard to rake up or blow away any foliage that reaches the ground. Sometimes I'm grateful, because I have a legitimate fear of slipping on some moist leaves or pine straw, but it makes me wonder: Do people see just what they want to see?

An acquaintance of mine was flattening and drying out particular segments of plants she had come across, meaning to press them in a notebook to save them for future appreciation. These pieces were quite stunning. I speculated on why this was a hobby I never took up. There were many different valid reasons that crossed my mind, but one particularly stood out to me -- I never cared to look for this beauty.

During the summer of 2012, I dated someone I met during a political club meeting. While it was a nice experience, he and I ended up parting ways on less-than-friendly terms. For a couple of summers thereafter, my time spent with him would randomly come to the top of my head during those oddly warm Bellingham nights. I had to learn to ignore those feelings of loneliness and unknowingly replaced them with new, happier memories. The cold nights that overwhelm the city after summer have haunted me as well but in a different way. During the fall and winter from Oct. of 2014 to Jan. of 2015, I went out with someone I had met at a party. Unlike the previous guy, he and I still get along, although he is now attending school out-of-state. After hitting up a bar or two, we would walk around downtown. Despite being sensitive to the cold, especially the wind, I somehow managed to keep up with him, as the cold didn't seem to bother him all too much. These are the kinds of memories I can look back on and enjoy. Shivering while downtown has become an oddly nostalgic experience, although I still try to go somewhere warm as quickly as I can.

Ultimately, you can choose what you associate the seasons with. Sad memories and current problems can permeate your thoughts, but looking for the wondrous will give you something to keep on going for. A windy day on campus will have me worrying about another bug being blown into my eye. It is only a temporary concern, and I choose to look forward to coming home to a roommate who I know I will have cherish-able moments with. Autumn, like all seasons, has its mixture of the good and the bad. While you may take notice of the bad aspects or realities, remember to take a moment to appreciate the sight of the red deciduous tree against the backdrop of the infamous evergreen trees of the Pacific Northwest.

Cover Image Credit: Katrina

Popular Right Now

College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
45704
views

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

291
views

It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

Related Content

Facebook Comments