November 5, 2018
Every year, before the fall comes around, we all draft a long list of what we’d like to do this year. We form this seasonal-bucket-list type thing, making sure to include everything we wanted to do last year, but never got around to.
I’ve found that with each coming year it gets harder and harder to finish my fall to-do list. Responsibilities pile up and grow – especially with standardized testing and college applications on the line. As a current senior, much of my focus has been directed toward the application process. Even when I’m not physically filling out the Common App, meeting with my guidance counselor, or editing my essays, my mind is there.
As a junior, I felt the same way toward the SAT and ACT. If I wasn’t studying, I was worried I should have been studying. The pressure increased in school as well, with everyone saying “junior year is the most important” and “those are the grades that college look at the most.”
Even as a Sophomore, my free time dwindled. School became more demanding, and I found myself busier than I had been the year before.
I don’t even play sports, so I can only imagine how much more difficult it is for fall athletes this time of year.
I can’t say that school, sports, tests, and college shouldn’t be the first things on your to-do list. But, I’m awfully tired of erasing my Autumn bucket lists and changing the “Fall To-Do 2017” to “Fall To-Do 2018.”
As cheesy as it may sound, we are only in high school once, and it’d be a shame to waste four years – four falls. We could be and should be taking advantage of all the activities, events, and games that go on in our hometown.
So, I’ve compiled a list of Fall-Friendly activities nearby. When you aren’t finishing homework, studying for exams, taking practice tests, going to practice, nor applying for college, you should make every effort to participate in one (or more) of the following:
- A Night at Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ: Just like any other park visit, the rides are open, games are up and running, and food is served. Though, in an effort to celebrate Halloween and to add some spookiness to your experience, the park so covered in fake cobwebs and dimly lit lights, and lots of other Halloween-esque decor. And (the best part) employees are made up as monsters and goblins and zombies and clowns, walking around the park with chainsaws and shovels, scaring the bejesus out of park goers just for fun. There are also haunted trails that you can pay to go on for an extra thrill, if you’re up for it.
- Spend a day or the night at A. Casola Farms in Holmdel, NJ &/or C. Casola Farms in Marlboro, NJ: These two local attractions offer a bunch of fall-related activities for people of all ages; there’s pumpkin-picking, hayrides, corn mazes, and all sorts of haunted fun at nighttime. Visiting either of these will be sure to check off a handful of “To-Do’s” on that fall bucket list.
- Visit any of your local coffee houses or restaurants for fall specialties: I could fill a page (and not double-spaced) just listing all the autumn seasonal drinks and food available around here. Almost everything comes pumpkin-style. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin Pop Tarts, pumpkin Mini Wheat cereal, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin toast, pumpkin Pillsbury cookies, etc. Just to give you a few ideas, the coffee house Rook (some locations include Freehold, Manalapan, and Colts Neck) has a new pumpkin-style cold brew that is to die for, and Starbucks has their traditional pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin cookies and muffins and all that. Even Playa Bowls and Frutta Bowls have come out with autumn-inspired bowls. Try some!
- Go to the movies…: It sounds silly, I know. But the movies can be very seasonal. For example, the new movie “Halloween” is out, and no one can deny that seeing the famous thriller-movie remake on a late, chilly, rainy fall night is definitely autumn bucket list worthy. Even further, have a horror movie marathon, or maybe binge watch spooky shows – like the new netflix series “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”
Though only four are listed above, they’re just some general ideas of what you can do to make fall feel even more like fall.
Also, even with Halloween coming to a close and Thanksgiving in near sight, the fall still has plenty more to go, and YOU have plenty more time to do all the seasonal activities you’d like.
So, enjoy the season, don’t rush the others, and take the time to appreciate how beautiful the fall really is.