The Reality Of The Fall 'Must-Dos'

The Reality Of The Fall 'Must-Dos'

How the cliché fall "must do's" are nothing like they seem.

I read an article on the things that you MUST DO to have a successful fall. They included the cliché things that I always look forward to doing in the fall but rarely ever do. This year I made it my mission to do these things and found the hard truth to how they are nothing like the cute cliché pictures look.

1. The Pumpkin Patch

When referring to pumpkin patch I’m not talking about the ones where they are all lined up nicely for you (not even in the “patch”) to pick which one you like. I am talking about a real pumpkin patch where they take you out there and let you pick your own growing from the ground. TIP: if you want to take cute pictures like we did do this BEFORE you go to the actual patch because you will get dirty and you will, if living in Alabama like me, get sweaty because it was so unbearably hot the week before Halloween that we went. We soon figured out that actual pumpkin picking is not our forte and that it is hard work.

2. Pumpkin carving

So, when you get the pumpkins the next fun thing to do is to carve them. Now, to be fair, this one wasn’t as bad as picking the pumpkin but, definitely not as fun and cute as it seems. This was a lot. of. work. I mean I don’t know if its because I have zero arm strength but my pumpkin was very hard to carve with the little tools I bought and if you have a texture problem like me then getting the guts out of the pumpkin will be very difficult.

3. Go for a Hayride

Every time I see pictures of this, I think about how it looks like such a cute and fun time. Luckily they had one at the pumpkin patch I went to so I could finally fulfill my fun fall checklist. Yet another disappointment that is very itchy, bumpy and where I was, filled with screaming kids. I don’t know if it was just our driver but I was holding on to the hay for dear life. I honestly thought I was going to fall into the middle of the hayride every time we took a curve. The only thing I took from this experience was itchy legs and a bunch of chigger bites.

4. Go to the Fair

The fair is always portrayed to be a romantic thing for couples to do in the fall, taking cute pictures on rides and eating cotton candy. The fair was kind of fun but not romantic. I have always loved in movies when the adoring couple rides the fairest wheel seeming like they are having the time of their lives and then the guy wins one of the games giving her the stuffed animal with a big romantic kiss. This is how I imagined the fair would be.

First off, it is a huge rip-off — you either buy the expensive armband and hope you like the rides or pay individually and spend up even more on only a few rides. Either way, there is no way to save money at the fair. The armbands don’t cover any of the games, so if you want to try and fulfill that “romantic experience,” then be prepared to spend.

Now, as far as the rides go, the fairs wheel no matter how badly I wanted it to be romantic was boring and kind of a waste of money. The other rides were pretty fun but as far as romance goes if you like being thrown around violently barely strapped in and hoping not to die then sure. The games were also not romantic and would frankly be weird if you started making out after winning something. Which, of course, will not happen 'til you have paid about fives time to play — of course, spending more money on a bear you could have paid $5 for at the dollar store.

5. Haunted House

Yet another supposedly romantic fall thing to do. Granted, I am so not into horror and am a big scaredy cat. But, other than me being a wimp the haunted house was in no way romantic. It seems like every year the people who have a significant other can’t wait to go to the haunted house and take a cute photo before. Now I realize why they never take one afterward. You look like a hot mess and have probably done more running than you did the whole year.

I imagined my boyfriend and I walking through the haunted house, me holding onto him being all romantic and occasionally scared like in the movies… Absolutely not, from the running and the CONSTANTLY being scared there isn’t time to cuddle up or even think about anything other than running for your life. If you think your partner will be impressed by how loud you can scream and how fast you can run then this is for you.

Cover Image Credit: URC today

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.

Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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7 Things Only Summer Camp Counselors Understand

Yes, it's possible to adore and hate your campers at the same time.


I have worked as a daytime summer camp/recreation counselor for the past four summers, and it's the best... and the worst. If you've ever worked at a summer camp, you know what I mean. And there are so many experiences, details, and struggles only we counselors truly understand.


Our Lord and Savior that is the AC is always either nonexistent or broken, leaving the Sun to beat down upon your and your kids' sweaty, sunburnt faces. While warm temperatures are summer's greatest blessing, at camp, there's no relief. Remember to always pack extra water!

2. Saying you love all of your kids equally, but secretly having favorites.

Yes, yes, yes, you love them all... but quiet Sam with the cute glasses is especially adorable.

3. ... and least favorites.

We have the clingers (the kids who were never taught the concept of personal space), the whiners (the kids who were never taught to walk it off), the sleepers (the lazy and moody kids whose parents forced them to come to camp)... the list goes on and on. Yes, you love them. Do they annoy you? Maybe.

4. Being CRAZY paranoid on field trips.

If a kid goes out of your line of sight or peripheral vision for even a second, you think the WORST. Kidnapped? Killed? Enslaved? These kids cannot disappear on your watch.

5. Having a thing for another counselor.

Even if it doesn't work out, it sure is fun to gaze lovingly across the field at male counselors that are way out of your league. If you're really lucky, you'll end up with a magical but fleeting summer fling.

6. Bonding with your fellow counselors over your love and hatred for kids/camp.

At the end of a long, hard day, there's nothing like complaining to let off some steam. Alternatively, it's also fun to giggle at your shared love for quiet Sam.

7. Realizing you have the best summer job ever.

The lessons and skills you learn at camp will stay with you forever. First aid, conflict resolution, and how to kill boredom are a few. Plus, you're basically being paid to have a fun time with the kids.

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