12 Reasons Why People With Allergies Have The Ultimate Love-Hate Relationship With Fall

12 Reasons Why People With Allergies Have The Ultimate Love-Hate Relationship With Fall

It's breathtaking in more ways than one.

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Fall should be my favorite season. But there are some inescapable facts about fall that make it, for all allergy and asthma sufferers, the ultimate mixed-bag.

1. You can finally wear cute clothes...

Let's make this absolutely clear: Hot, humid weather sucks. I'm sick of my thighs sticking to chairs, and of patchy shoulder sunburns. I'm ready for jeans, leggings, and sweaters, sweaters, sweaters. Fall clothing means you can look good and feel comfortable.

2. Ragweed

For people with seasonal allergies or allergic asthma, ragweed is the devil. Near the end of summer, it's everywhere, and it stays everywhere for weeks, even months, often until the snow flies. Imagine being intensely uncomfortable in the outdoors every time you take a breath. Ragweed is inescapable.

3. Apple-picking

I live in Michigan, and impossible to enjoy fall without an apple-picking trip to your local orchard. The cool air, the crisp sweetness of the apples, the cider and donuts--who could want anything else?

4. Apple-picking...

Unfortunately, going apple-picking carries so much extra baggage. First, you are spending hours around trees, which are usually covered in dust, dirt, and other residue. You know how you polish an apple before you bite into it? All that dust sitting on the apple had to come from somewhere, and that somewhere was the air. The dry, dusty throat you get from breathing dirt would be bad enough, but of course asthma just has to go the extra mile and choke you.

5. Pumpkin carving

Visiting a pumpkin patch and carving or decorating the pumpkin you pick out is one of the quintessential fall activities. Not to mention that it gets you in the spirit of Halloween.

6. The pumpkin patch 

Although just carving a pumpkin is usually fine for allergy/asthma sufferers, the pumpkin patch? It's a minefield. It's full of dry plants that are constantly stepped on, and therefore ground and stirred into the air. My breath feels tighter just thinking of it.

7. Seasonal flavors

We all love the fall flavors that come back into fashion each year. Yes, there's the PSL, but let's not forget about caramel, cinnamon, apple, and more. I mean, cider? A drink that's perfect hot or cold? With cinnamon-sugar donuts? Fall flavors are magical.

8. You can't enjoy those flavors as much

Researchers say that smell accounts for as much as 80% of the flavors we taste. But when fall rolls around, people with allergies and/or asthma are often suffering from snotty, runny, stuffed-up noses. Guess I'll enjoy 20% of the PSL's flavors.

9. Fall means Halloween 

This is Halloween, this is Halloween/HALLOWEEN! HALLOWEEN! HALLOWEEN! HALLOWEEN! HALLOWEEN! HALLOWEEN!

10. And Halloween means...indoor parties

Basically, any event that typically takes place out of doors is nightmarish--and not in the fun Halloween way--when you can't breath outdoor air. Frankly, this one isn't really a downer. An indoor costume or piñata party with friends is more fun than risking frostbite just so you can ask strangers for candy.

11. The changes of fall 

When leaves change color in the fall, it can liven up even the most boring morning commute. And not only that, but fall brings with it millennia of history, of the symbolism of change. It's a quiet, contemplative time of year, and it can give a sense of peace before the harshness of winter sets in.

12. All the other changes of fall 

If you have intrinsic asthma, like me, fall's beauty brings a special kind of hell. Intrinsic asthma can be triggered by stress (welcome, the start of the school year!), temperature changes, literally just the temperature "cold," and sickness. Meaning, if I catch a cold, my body has an allergic reaction to it and holds onto the sickness for a long time. A day or two of a sore throat turns into a months-long cough.

I wish I could enjoy fall to its fullness. But I think I'll need a new set of lungs first.

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You Don't Need To Be A Feminist To Acknowledge We All Share A Human Connection

An aspect in life we can agree on, feminist or not.

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To my surprise, there are conservatives who aren't completely consumed with the idea that feminism consists merely of opinionated and obnoxious women who are overly sensitive and despise all men.

The article "Two Cheers for Feminism!," written by conservative author David Brooks, provides excellent examples of how feminism is much broader than the stereotypes it has come to earn.

Upon reading the first line, I grew skeptical as to whether or not the article would hold a sarcastic title.

Brooks states, "I disagree with academic feminism a lot — with those vague oppressor stories about the patriarchy, with the strange unwillingness to admit inherited-gender differences and with the tone of faculty lounge militancy,"

Ensuring my skepticism towards his tone and ideologies regarding the remainder of the article.

Knowing Brooks is typically categorized as a conservative, I was surprised to see a title having positive reinforcement on a completely liberal topic. As the article progressed, I was amazed by how Brooks expressed his opinions on this specific aspect of feminism in such a favorable way.

He discusses how males and females grow up with different morals towards empathy as well as relationships towards emotions. Stated very evidently,

"...[our] culture teaches girls not to talk and boys not to feel. Girls begin to say, 'I don't know.' Boys say, 'I don't care.' They've been pushed away from honest sharing and deep connection."

This statement especially resonated with me.

Women have historically been seen as weaker, even lesser, than men, while in the 21st century, the narrative has shifted.

However, a new perception of women does not mean the standards of humanity have changed as well. Men are still taught, in the words of composer Christophe Beck, to "Conceal, don't feel." They are afraid of expressing their true emotions, held back by preconceived notions telling them they will be shamed for expressing their feelings.

Because men grow up believing they are supposed to be competitive and authoritative, they become suppressed of valuable psychological connections. These connections are, in my opinion, a minuscule, yet critical, piece of what links an individual to their humanity.

Just barely grasping the importance of learning about healthy relationships with emotions can impact how you live your entire life.

Looking into a more present perspective, the correlation between depression and the societal norms of masking one's emotions is apparent now more than ever. Thomas Scheff, a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, composed an article elaborating on the issue.

In it, Scheff writes,

"Modern societies take a dim view of emotions. They are usually judged to be far less important than the material world, behavior, thought and most everything else."

I agree entirely with his statement, finding that mental health — and the stigma that is associated with it — has progressively become a more crucial issue in our world, yet we still fail to see the true roots of the issue and ways of prevention.

Nothing can be fixed without targeting the foundation of the problem at hand.

Brooks is entitled to his own views on feminism. However, he is able to put his personal biases aside to acknowledge the benefits feminism has proven to have in regards to human connection.

According to Merriam-Webster, the dictionary definition of feminism is "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes."

Despite this, society has warped feminism's denotation, and I believe it should be altered once more. Having aspects of both unity and emotional intelligence are necessary to create a connection with each and every person; the core of what I believe feminism truly stands for.

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Having A Unique Relationship With Your Roommate Isn't Bad, It Can Actually Be Quite Great

Some people are always talking to their roommate hanging out all the time, but mine might be different.

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College is the land of the jungle and one of the best ways to get through is to have some friends. Usually, your first friend is probably your roommate and that is totally understandable but my first friend wasn't my roommate and honestly had a different way of getting to know him.

When I was going through out housing portal to find a roommate I really didn't know what i was doing. Should I message him? Should I try to meet him beforehand? I didn't do either. I saw the first name and went from there, for all i knew he could've been completely insane but, he wasn't thankfully.

Moved in and it was all good and we still didn't talk to each other on move in day, I know that sounds crazy but we didn't say a word to each other. It was weird that I would have to share this tiny cramped space with someone that I haven't even talked to yet. But, hey at some point i knew we would. to be honest, my mom was the first one to talk to him and they actually had a lot on common. they both grew up in the same neighborhood, crazy.

We finally talked to each other after about three weeks of going here and living with each other. We got to know each other a lot and we actually had a lot in common, we must've talked for 2 to 3 hours about random stuff, but it was so much fun. Then after that we didn't talk again for like another 3 or 4 days. Honestly, that is completely fine with me. We both understood how busy our lives would be since we are taking so many classes, studying, being with friends, and working.

I'm going to be honest, we don't talk to each other everyday, hang out and go to eat together, go to parties, or hell even play video games together. We share the space and we stay cool with each other. We make sure everything works in the room and we maintain the relationship of that we make it through the year without problems. I think both us don't expect much since we are guys and that can be an easy thing to handle.

But, through all of that I gladly call my roommate my friend. He's a guy that I can go to for advice on relationships, talk to about nerdy stuff that I know others couldn't relate to, and also be cool with that we won't talk every single day or hang out a bunch. It is different, but it's that good different that makes you step out of the comfort zone a bit. Someday he will read this and I hope he has embraced our time and sees me as a friend as well. Because I know he's a great guy and a great friend, maybe he doesn't right now but maybe over time we will be great friends.

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