The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Mini opinions: Most underrated aspects of fall

Molly Parker
Collection for Opinion Mini Series – underrated fall elements

As the fall season approaches, excitement ramps up for all the usual activities: pumpkin and apple picking, the leaves changing color and everything spooky. 

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here at the opinion section, we’re ready to subvert your autumnal expectations and shed light on the less-appreciated parts of this time of year. 

Molly Parker

Olivia Langlan — The switch to fuzzy socks 

I’m a person who has a deep appreciation for the little things and one of those little things is socks. 

I have an extensive collection of socks: socks with cute quotes, cool designs and old, trustworthy fuzzy socks. 

Though I love fall for a plethora of reasons, the transition to wearing socks during the mild days and crisp nights is something I truly enjoy. 

When fall rolls around, you can always catch me unearthing my bin of colorful socks to make sure I completely embrace the coziness of the season. 

And every year without fail, I am delighted to say that my fuzzy sock collection grows a little bit more. 

Molly Parker

Max Akom — School starting

Going back to school is one of the most underrated parts of fall. I am a person who lives and dies by intellectual engagement. 

Returning to a place where I am stimulated by new information is one of the things I look forward to over the summer. Being able to dive back into economics and biology is refreshing after a slower-paced summer.

There are many graphs in economics or cellular interactions in biology that are hard to understand from a book. Having an expert to bounce ideas off of is a luxury that is truly hard to understate. 

Molly Parker

Taylor Abrams — Showers

Showering in fall is a truly underrated experience. Enjoying hot showers, especially when it is cold out, is a feeling like no other.

I know everyone loves a good hot shower before jumping into warm clothes. 

While I love summer, hot showers are realistically not an option. The high temperatures make them uncomfortable and personally, I tend to sweat afterward.

However, fall is when that all changes. In fall, you get to experience the coziness of a hot shower after a long day of classes or work. 

Since the weather has not yet dropped to deathly degrees, you don’t feel locked in your house or room.

The warmth from the hot water and post-shower clothing is only half of this immersion. You can leave the house with wet hair and go about your day, feeling refreshed and energized—that’s what’s so special about fall showers. They are a one-of-a-kind experience. 

Molly Parker

Jackson Nobles — The darkness

During fall, the natural world undergoes a temporary death. Most animals hibernate and plants go dormant. But that’s not a bad thing. 

When you can appreciate the beauty of the frost, the thaw becomes that much more enjoyable. 

A bone-deep cold seeps into the self, as the freezing wind forces itself upon you and surrounds you, which I feel is good for the soul. The days darken and grow short, and sleep becomes my favorite thing.

People bundle up in passed-down wool and become blobs of roughly knit cloth like groundhogs poking their heads above the snow. 

The world shrivels up, losing the superficial joy of the summer, and instead asks you to appreciate the natural world at its rawest, most stark and unforgiving.

I find the beauty in the leaflessness of a tree, in the suffocation of the grass beneath the snow, in the biting winds. 

Our whole lives, we are told to fear the dark, but I don’t think we should. 

I think we should all appreciate the comfort of a pitch-black room, the baggy folds of a sweater’s oversized sleeves, the gentle warmth of someone’s embrace on skin. Love the fall, for it evokes an icy beauty that goes regrettably underappreciated in our collective psyche.

Molly Parker

Emma Dinsmore — Fall weather

While I love the warmth of summer, I can’t help but smile when I feel the first chill in the air.

Fall weather is the perfect in-between: it’s still warm enough to be comfortable outside and there’s no snow on the ground yet, but I’m not sweating on the way to class.

Fall also means cuter outfits – with warm sweaters, thick socks and faux-leather Doc Martens. Every year I get so excited to break out the clothes I haven’t been able to wear in months, and even pair them with my summer items for a while.

I’m ready for this heatwave to end—we need more time with 50 degrees and changing leaves.

Molly Parker

Ayelet Kaminski — Fall food

Now, when I say fall foods, I’m not just talking about everything pumpkin flavored—although I do love pumpkin pie. 

I’m talking everything on your Thanksgiving table and more: roasted brussel sprouts, butternut squash soup, mashed potatoes…hell, even the turkey. 

Thanksgiving turkey gets a bad rap for being dry and boring but I, personally, think that stereotype reflects more on the chef than the bird. 

But even if you do end up with a particularly dry slice of turkey… that’s what gravy and cranberry sauce are there for.

I’m not saying you can’t eat sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, apple pie, stuffing or green beans during any other season, but I think they just taste better after the first frost of the year. 

I believe food is best enjoyed as a ritual and as a show of compassion between people. Autumn is a time when friends and family can gather around the table and share a loving meal before retreating into hibernation for the harsh Vermont winter. 

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About the Contributor
Molly Parker
Molly Parker, Illustrations Editor
(She/her) Molly Parker is a senior studio art and anthropology double major from Hopedale, Mass. She had been a member of the illustrations team since the spring of 2020 before becoming editor of the section in the spring of 2023. Molly also creates prints and zines that she displays in the Burlington area as well as her hometown. Apart from illustrating and creating art, she loves watching horror movies, cooking and crocheting. Email [email protected] to get in contact with Molly.