Oberlin Blogs

Ten Things to do in the fall in Oberlin

October 29, 2009

Marsha Lynn Bragg

Fall is my favorite time of year for all the obvious reasons: the abundance of dynamic colors, variations in outside temperature--not too hot and not so cold. I consider fall the in-between season. One day it may rain, another day may be overcast skies and little sunshine. Oh, and we get another hour of sleep at the end of the month when we "fall back" into Daylight Saving Time.

The downside of fall that truly bothers me is that nightfall comes earlier. And winter is a mere few weeks away.

If you're in a rut for things to do, let me offer a few ideas to help you shake the doldrums and end the term with a strong finish.

  1. Take time to enjoy the season in this cozy community. Oberlin is small enough to get around quite easily. It's pedestrian friendly, which lends itself to nature walks, short bike trips, jogging, skateboarding, soccer, flag football and other outdoorsy kinds of activities. Not a sports kinda person? Go leaf hunting on Tappan Square and collect as many varieties as you want.

  2. Choose a Winter Term project that will stretch you beyond what you think you are capable of doing. College is all about life-changing experiences that develop your intellect and enrich your soul.

  3. Buy a smoothie (or the beverage of your choice) at Wilder DeCafé and sip it while sitting on a bench in your favorite spot on campus or along Main Street.

  4. View the stars, the moon and all other galaxy-like wonders from the Oberlin College Planetarium and Observatory. What? Didn't know we had one? It's atop Peters Hall. The dome and telescope were installed back in 1929. Today the observatory and planetarium play host to introductory astronomy classes, individual student projects, the Oberlin Astronomy Club, and interested stargazers. Take a date and enjoy the view.

  5. Attend a men's or women soccer game or a football game. Forget the Browns. Why travel 30 miles to see a so-so team possibly lose or pile into a game room to watch it on a flat-screen TV? Go over to Shults Field and root for one of the home teams. You might even know some of the players so you can hassle them later for missing a pass.

  6. Attend at least one cultural event before the semester ends: a concert, a student-directed play, jazz forum, master class, a museum exhibit, a walking tour of Oberlin, a reading at the public library, or a midday or evening lecture of your choice. Just one event, that's all. Too much fun and you'll forget why you're here.

  7. Buy a pumpkin from the local grocery, a roadside market, or during the upcoming local foods fest. Carve it and decorate it but don't toss the seeds. Wash and dry them out and toast them in an oven. Season with salt or the sweet spice of your choice.

  8. Rent the movie Psycho, the original from 1961. It's a suspenseful, classic thriller. Forget Halloween IV, Saw III, and the other modern-day slasher flicks. They just don't compare to the genius of Hitchcock. Don't blink or you'll miss him!

  9. Show random acts of kindness. That was a popular slogan a few years back. Make someone else feel just a little bit better about life and the opportunities learning at Oberlin will afford him or her. Need an idea? Check out the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Gosh, there is a website for everything.

  10. Call your mom and tell her you love her. Tell your dad how much you love Oberlin but can't wait to come home.

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