On a Budget: Fall leaves brighten up campus

Martina Barrera-Hernandez, Columnist

Everyone told me that I would be amazed by the changing colors of the leaves when I moved to the Midwest. I laughed it off saying I saw seasons in California too and Northwestern would be no different. I could not have been more incorrect. In a matter of days, campus transformed into a whirlwind of red, orange and yellow, and I found myself looking for ways to fully appreciate this change.

1. Take a walk and purposefully step on all the crunchiest leaves.

You know you do it anyway, so why not make a sport out of it? Stroll around campus or through Centennial Park with a friend, and let the games begin! Five points for red, two points for orange and one point for yellow: Ready, set, go!

2. Take a really artsy Instagram photo.

You’ve been staring at the gorgeous leaves for days, wishing you could share the autumn spectacle with others. So why not snap a picture to make sure everyone gets to enjoy? Maybe take a panorama of the trees down Sheridan, or do a close-up of your favorite leaf of the day. The caption should be something inspirational about how the falling leaves represent a “new you,” or maybe just stick with some leaf emojis. You better believe that picture is #nofilter. Watch as the likes roll in.

3. Make a strand of garland to decorate your dorm.

If you’re like me, you’ve been collecting pretty leaves for the past few days and watching them accumulate on your desk. Pretty soon, your roommate is going to make you throw them away, so why not craft with them? For garland, gather up as many interesting, ombre leaves as you want and tie them to string — bakers twine works and looks best! Hang it up in your room as your own little shrine to Demeter. If you happen to find yourself sans string, simply tape the leaves downwards by their stems on your windows or walls, much like you would with paper snowflakes.

4. Jump in the leaves.

If anyone says you are too old to jump in the leaves, stop talking to them. You do not need that kind of negativity in your life. Get a group of friends together to make a massive pile of leaves perfect for sliding into. (Do not jump in the piles the gardeners have made. Trust me, they won’t like that.) After, head inside for some hot chocolate and help each other pick the leaves from your hair.

5. Simply admire. 

Shuffle through the leaves scattered on the ground like confetti as you make your way to class and smile, because you know the secret that the fallen leaves hold — winter is just around the corner.

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