On top of an orange rug lies a bowl of candy corn, a pumpkin embroidered throw pillow, a Pepperdine SWAB mug and two small, stuffed pumpkins. As autumn approaches, students said they look forward to celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving and other fall festivities. Photos by Sammie Wuensche
The last few weeks of summer before autumn allow students to prepare for the school year and acclimate to returning to classes. Now as midterms slowly creep up, students said they are looking forward to ditching swimsuits and shorts for chilly nights in cozy cardigans.
“Fall is my favorite season of the year, so I am very, very excited for it to get chillier and for the leaves to turn different bright colors,” sophomore Fatima Reyes said. “I just love the constant smell of pumpkin and cinnamon all around.”
Senior Aubrey Henrie said she loves the comfortable atmosphere of autumn and all the anticipation for the fall holidays.
“Fall time to me is all about the comfy and cozy vibes,” Henrie said.
Junior Courtney Wisniewski also said she is fond of the fall, and her favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Wisniewski said she loves that the color orange is everywhere during the season and enjoys all of the vibrant changes in nature that autumn brings.
“I grew up in the south where seasons are very pronounced,” Wisniewski said. “People start to get ‘fitted,’ the air smells crisper and the fun fall foods come out. I especially love when Trader Joe’s moves to their fall line.”
Though many students are excited about autumn, the season is not everyone’s cup of tea. Senior Samantha Ortega said she has mixed feelings about the fall season.
“Fall is not my go-to or favorite season, however, I do still enjoy it,” Ortega said. “I like how it is the start of a colder season where we can cozy up inside, start wearing more layers and drink some hot cocoa.”
Despite conflicting feelings about the changing of seasons, many students acknowledge the importance of the beloved pumpkin spice latte. The seasonal flavor is a favorite among students like Reyes and Wisniewski.
“I always have to drink a consistent amount of iced pumpkin spice lattes in the fall before they take away the pumpkin flavoring,” Reyes said.
For those who don’t drink coffee, Henrie said she recommends an iced chai with pumpkin syrup — her go-to order for the fall. Henrie also said she enjoys baking seasonal desserts like Pillsbury pumpkin sugar cookies and pumpkin bread.
“I love chai tea or pumpkin spice anything,” Wisniewski said. “If pumpkin spice was served all year, I would be happier than ever.”
While pumpkin permeates students’ fall favorites lists, some prepare for autumn with their favorite shows and movies. Ortega said she loves watching classic children’s Halloween movies like “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Monster House.”
Other students said they enjoy films that remind them of past fall seasons. Henrie recommends the “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” series for autumn — and Reyes said her favorite show for the fall is “Gilmore Girls.”
“‘Gilmore Girls’ is prime fall for me and always feels very nostalgic,” Reyes said. “I also love watching all the ‘Halloweentown’ movies because it’s reminiscent of the early Disney days.”
Students said they look forward to local fall festivities like the Calabasas Pumpkin Festival and the city of Malibu’s annual Halloween carnival at Malibu Bluffs park. Students said they enjoy many horror-filled opportunities around Southern California to celebrate Halloween, such as the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disneyland’s California Adventure and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.
“I’m not one to like scary things, but since my friend is working there, I hope to go to Horror Nights at some point,” Ortega said.
Others prefer to keep the scares to a minimum and celebrate the season in their own ways. Henrie and Wisniewski said they look forward to decorating their apartments for the spooky season and plan on hosting fall movie marathons for Halloween.
Students said music can also set the mood for any autumnal activity. Playlists are essential to cultivating the ultimate, cozy autumn aesthetic, and there are some songs that feel like autumn, Ortega said.
These are students’ top five songs that get them into the fall spirit:
“Cardigan” by Taylor Swift
“505” by Arctic Monkeys
“Dark Red” by Steve Lacy
“Pluto Projector” by Rex Orange County
“Beige” by Yoke Lore
“Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer.
“Betty” by Taylor Swift
“Cigarette Daydreams” by Cage the Elephant
“Cherry Wine” by Hozier
“Red” by Taylor Swift
“Sweet Creature” by Harry Styles
“Ivy” by Taylor Swift
“From Eden” by Hozier
“For Emma” by Bon Iver
“Sunrise” by Norah Jones
“Drunk on Halloween” by Wallows
“First Love/Late Spring” by Mitski
“The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” by Death Cab for Cutie
“Can I Believe You” by Fleet Foxes
“Hallucinogenics” by Matt Maeson
Autumn shows itself more subtly in Malibu than in most places — the leaves on main campus turn brown, and the sun sets earlier. Students said they look forward to days of warm sweaters and cooler weather and are celebrating the season as much or as little as they please.
“Fall has always been my favorite season,” Wisniewski said. “I love when the leaves start to change to all the beautiful colors and when the mountains fade from greens and blues to reds and oranges. I love the pumpkin decor, pumpkin patches and pumpkin spice flavors. You can’t tell me fall isn’t the best season.”
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