Image shows the entry of a garden where many of the trees in the garden have turned orange and red

Okayama Garden on VIU campus / Image via Sophia Wasylinko

Fall has finally arrived.

The transition from summer to autumn can be a shock, especially for out-of-town students from sunny and warm climates. Below are reasons why you should embrace it, and a few suggestions on how:

The Sights

The official markings of fall is when leaves start turning red, yellow, or brown. It comes gradually, but within a few weeks, the entire tree is bursting with colour. It looks absolutely gorgeous. Plus, who doesn’t like raking leaves and jumping in the piles?

To Do: Your eyes are tired, you’re stressed with school, or you’re just antsy. You need to get outside. It’s too cold to sun-bathe at the beach, but Nanaimo has plenty of nice parks and trails. One of the best places to take in the crisp fall air is Buttertubs Marsh Park, but there are other park spaces such as Colliery Dam, Bowen, and Beban. Your mind and body will thank you for taking a break from your computer screen.

The Fashion

One day, you’re wearing a tank top and shorts; the next, you’re in long pants and a jacket. Some people might see it as a restriction, but it’s just another phase in the year—one with plenty of cool fashion. Plaid is always a popular look and you can never go wrong with knee-high socks.

To Do: Dig out all your fall and winter clothes and get to organizing. Keep the clothes that fit and give away anything that’s tight or doesn’t “spark joy,” as Marie Kondo would say. It’s a great way to get you in a cozy fall mood, and an excuse to go shopping.

The Flavours

You know autumn’s around the corner when Starbucks changes its drinks menu. Flavours like pumpkin, maple, ginger, and apple just scream falling leaves, migrating geese, and early morning frost. Warm and rustic, these fall flavours are what we need to warm up as temperatures drop this season.

To Do: Make your own pumpkin spice latte or apple cider by using up last year’s apple or pumpkin puree that’s been sitting in the freezer. If there isn’t any, go to the farmers’ market or an orchard for fresh, local apples and pumpkins. Get your inner circle together and have a pureeing-and-cooking party. You can also bake some muffins and bread; they’re perfect for breakfast or as a snack.

The Holidays

Fall is a time of celebration, remembrance, and thanksgiving. Literally. Some people put all their time and energy into Thanksgiving dinner. They look forward to eating turkey and pie, decorating, and gathering with their friends and family.

However, I’m sure everyone looks forward to Halloween: ghosts, ghouls, jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, and things that go bump in the night. Even with the pandemic, there’s a lot to do on this spooky day.

To Do:
Thanksgiving: If you’re away from home, get together safely with some friends and have a potluck. Skype or call home to share the celebration with your loved ones.

Halloween: Once again, the Nanaimo Museum is hosting its annual Brother XII Presentations (two in-person sessions, one over Zoom) and Haunted Nanaimo Lantern Tours. Check them out by yourself or with a friend. Drive around town to look at houses decorated for the holiday, or invite some people over for a scary movie. Get them to dress up and bring their own treats. Finally, read a scary book or write a horror story of your own.

I hope these tips will help you enjoy the season as much as I do. Remember to stay safe and have an awesome fall!


Sophia is a fourth-year Creative Writing and Journalism student. She was the News Editor for The Navigator last year. Outside of The Nav, Sophia volunteers with VIU Cultural Connections as a Peer Helper. Three things she wants to do in the future are: travel to Japan and Korea, attend a Stray Kids concert, and adopt one or two black cats.

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