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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Christmas trees in Schenley Plaza.
‘Christmas Day at Pitt’ gathers community for free meals, clothes and gifts
By Spencer Levering, Senior Staff Writer • December 8, 2023

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Christmas trees in Schenley Plaza.
‘Christmas Day at Pitt’ gathers community for free meals, clothes and gifts
By Spencer Levering, Senior Staff Writer • December 8, 2023

Editorial | The Pitt News editors’ favorite fall activities

Fall+foliage+surrounds+Hillman+Library.
Ethan Shulman | Visual Editor
Fall foliage surrounds Hillman Library.

The fall season is finally here — the temperature is dropping, the leaves are turning and students are bracing for their seasonal depression to hit in just a few short weeks. But until that happens, you can enjoy the cool breeze and faint scent of pumpkin in the air.

Figuring out how to spend these precious weeks of fall can be challenging, but The Pitt News Editorial Board is here to help. Here are just a few of our editors favorite activities for the fall season.

Pamela Smith, managing editor

If there’s one thing I am, it is predictable. I love photographing the fall foliage during this time of year. My hometown is surrounded by mountains and farms, so I am very lucky to see some beautiful colors when I am there, with a camera in one hand and a fresh cider doughnut in the other. 

Ryleigh Lord, news editor

I am not known for my love of horror movies — with one important exception. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, I love more than the “Scream” franchise. The first “Scream” film is my autumnal bible, something I watch at minimum twice a month as soon as there’s a chill in the air. Drew Barrymore’s outfit in the opening scene, sans blood, is what I hope I look like walking to classes. Maybe it’s because the first time I watched “Scream” was on Halloween years ago that it’s so intrinsically tied to fall for me, but each year, I manage to introduce it to new friends who previously lived the unexamined life and had never seen the life-changing film before. 

Livia LaMarca, assistant opinions editor

I am a soup girl, and I am an apple pie girl. Both of these delicacies scream autumn. As soon as the weather turns cool, I am retiring each day in a cozy sweater with my favorite fall meal. I dream about the day I own a large blender — ‘cause at the end of the day, I am a broke college student — where I can roast all the veggies I want and blend them together to make the most delicious homemade soup known to man. 

And of course, nothing beats a piece of apple pie for dessert — Dutch apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is hands-down my favorite. If apples weren’t expensive and schoolwork didn’t take up 80% of my day, my roommates would consistently have fresh Dutch apple pie each week, with homemade crust and filling, too!

Brian Sherry, sports editor

Call me crazy, but I love a good haunted house. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I think there’s no better way to celebrate it than finding a few friends to get absolutely terrified with. 

Jermaine Sykes, assistant sports editor

My favorite fall activity is very original, especially coming from a sports writer. I’m just kidding. My favorite fall activity is watching the NFL on Sundays with my friends. I love seeing my favorite team, the New York Giants, lose every week. 

Patrick Swain, culture editor 

A piping hot pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks could help you disregard the premature Christmas decorations and stave off seasonal affective disorder for another month. It’s such an institution in our consumerist cultural canon that its annual return seems like a milestone marking the arrival of a holy season, akin to a more predictable McRib. 

I tried a pumpkin spice latte for the first time recently — after two decades of temperance, I finally fell to the festering FOMO from forgoing this boardroom brainchild. Ordering a pumpkin spice latte at the cash register sent chills down my spine, like I was uttering an ancient Druidic incantation for a bountiful harvest. Scanning the Starbucks for levitating lemon loaves, I sipped my tall PSL as the cake pops stared into my soul. Allegedly, there were traces of coffee hidden beneath $6 of tasty chemicals. An innocent pumpkin died for this? Just walk across the bridge and take a gander at the fall foliage in Schenley Park to scratch that autumnal itch at no cost.

Annika Esseku, layout editor

My favorite fall activity is going to the pumpkin patch with my friends. We always set aside a whole day for it, get dressed in cute, cozy outfits and drive 45 minutes to the same pumpkin patch we go to every year. To avoid lugging around massive pumpkins for 8 hours, we go through both corn mazes, pick some mostly dead flowers, eat mediocre funnel cake and complain about the cold as we did not dress warmly enough. Only after all these tasks are completed can we pick pumpkins. 

Julia Smeltzer, digital editor

Some people really love the heat of the summer and melting on the beach while others enjoy the bitter cold as they stomp around in mushy snow during the winter months. Spring, for me, is a mediocre in-between month. So that leaves me being a total fall girl at heart. Wearing sweaters, drinking warm pumpkin-flavored drinks and watching nostalgic Halloween movies while cuddled up on the couch are just some of my favorite things about fall. The air gets colder, the leaves turn all shades of red and orange, and everything just seems more cozy. So, there is no one particular thing I enjoy most in the fall as the season itself is my favorite. 

Allison Schaeffer and Livia Daggett, copy chiefs

If there’s one thing that makes fall a little more fun, it’s picking your own apples. The orchards are decked out for the harvest season, and everyone’s bundled up, ready to get some fruit fresh from the tree. Sure, it may taste the same as the stuff you can find in the grocery store, but you never go apple picking just for the apples — it’s about the experience! And, to top off that experience, we love frolicking in some fallen leaves — that’s what the season’s all about.

Srinidhi Gopalan, audience engagement editor

I essentially spend all year waiting for fall where I can start wearing warm, cozy sweaters, sipping anything pumpkin spice, but, most importantly — grocery shopping for everything and anything pumpkin. The obsession gets a little crazy for me, especially if you go to Trader Joe’s. I will make sure I can get my hands on anything with the word pumpkin the minute I step into Trader Joe’s and grocery shopping is genuinely a fun activity for me in the fall, as I make it a new mission each week with my roommate to try a new fall-flavored item. This includes pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin spice bagels and even pumpkin ravioli that was surprisingly not as pumpkin-y as I anticipated. Now I await the conclusion of the fall season, Thanksgiving, to bring out the pumpkin pie that I devour copious amounts of each year.

We got nearly every editor on The Pitt News Editorial Board to contribute great ideas to inspire amazing plans, meals and activities for the remainder of this fabulous season. But if you happen to be a pessimist or hate Halloween or any of the other splendid activities listed above, we leave you with the chosen activity of our fabulous editor-in-chief Betul Tuncer — going out of your way to crunch the fallen leaves on the ground.

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