The Temptation of a Crunchy Leaf

Fall has definitely arrived here at Notre Dame. Despite the debut of the Starbucks red Christmas cups, I still feel like I’m just warming up to fall. Whether it is my obsession appreciation surrounding scarves or the satisfaction of that “Crunch!” sound as I step on a leaf, I have come to love fall.

There are so many different colors on this beautiful campus from the two evergreens that stand tall in the knoll behind my dorm to the bright red tree that I pass each morning as I walk to class. Especially on days like today where the sky is pure blue and it is a brisk 45 degrees outside, I have the intense desire to go sit in the sun — after I grab a scarf or second jacket of course.

As far as scarves go, I feel that I may have a problem. That’s the first step, right? Admitting you have an addiction to lovingly stitched, colorful scarves? In my dorm room at this very moment, I have eight. From off-white to hot pink to multicolored to a tasseled conglomerate, I have plenty of soft, fluffy variety. The guilty conscience in me is telling me to put at least one in the Project Warmth bin downstairs but I don’t think I am quite secure enough in my scarf obsession to relinquish one. All in due time.

Some of you may ask, why on earth do I have so many scarves? There are several reasons. First of all, I knew that moving from the warm south to northern Indiana was going to be a big shocker to my system, therefore, I would need scarves in the winter. Once the collecting had begun, there was no stopping it. Once I was prepared with a  basic array of scarves–a few different kinds to blend with different types of outfits, of course– I wanted more variety. If I am wearing a red blazer, I cannot wear my hot pink scarf.! Well, I could but…no. Therefore, I need to get a new scarf, otherwise, I won’t be warm! Vain, I know, but there you have it. My scarf addiction was born.

Scarves aren’t the only reason I adore fall up here. Stepping on a crunchy leaf is like a kind of mini-euphoric moment every time it happens. The administration recognizes the fantastic pastime of crunching leaves or–in better days–jumping into piles of crunchy leaves. In order to prevent crunch-seeking students, like myself, from jumping into the huge piles of leaves that are gathered each day around campus, if one is caught disturbing the tempting pile, you receive a ResLife (which is essentially a jacked-up demerit that goes on your permanent record and can prevent you from getting into graduate schools). Even with the threat of a ResLife, when the soft autumn sun sets on the tall piles of leaves dejectedly sitting out on the sidewalks whispering as the wind gently flows through them, merry crunching sounds can be heard by someone who knows what to listen for. (Not really, but wouldn’t that be awesome?)

However, there are some things I do not like about the fall season, although they have little to do with the weather. Because there are lots of people like me who enjoy planning everything extremely far in advance, applications for summer programs and even programs for fall 2012 as all due in the fall months. Applications for NDVision were due before fall break (super competitive), International Summer Service Learning Program applications were due the 30th of October (waiting on a response!) and study abroad applications for Fall 2012 are due on November 15th! (Yikes! I haven’t started that one yet!)

Do not forget about Operation Midterm: Round 3. Don’t even get me started about the two exams I have next week and organic chemistry the following week. I cannot even think about finals yet.

So much to do and so little time! I think I’ll go read a book on the knoll with one of my scarves. La ti da. 

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