CAMPBELL: Falling in love with autumn

Since I have forgone my usual early listening to Christmas music in order to enjoy the pre-Christmas … I mean autumn season, I thought I would share some of the things I have discovered that make fall such a great season.

1. Pumpkin-flavored everything: I had not tried the famed pumpkin-spice latte from everyone’s favorite corporate coffee house until a few weeks ago. And I am in love. My life may be forever changed.

2. Beautiful scenery: This season is a photographer’s dream, and I’ve been noticing lately just how gorgeous the foliage in Milwaukee has been. I also spent all last weekend off campus at a camp and was amazed by the beauty of the world around me.

3. Football: The (other) great American pastime. It tends to consume every fan’s Sunday afternoon, and I don’t hate it. Though my Kansas City Chiefs have let me down even more this year than in the past, I still can’t think of a better way to spend three hours of my weekend than in front of the TV watching a bunch of grown men crash into each other for obscene amounts of money while crowds of people scream at them.

4. Halloween and Thanksgiving: Though neither holiday was originally intended to be such, these two autumn holidays have evolved into excuses for celebrants to eat as much candy and turkey as they can, respectively. Some of it is even pumpkin-flavored. It’s fine, though, because we can play some football afterwards and burn all those calories off.

5. Fall break: Marquette students are blessed to have two extra days to a weekend in mid-October to recover from midterm exams. Though many universities don’t reward their students in such a generous way, we are lucky to have the opportunity to do nothing for four days instead of two (can you tell I’m ready for break?).

6. Basketball: The one sport that is even more exciting about fall than football is college basketball. Last week, schools across the nation celebrated their own versions of Marquette Madness to mark the official beginning of the NCAA basketball season. Soon many of us will make the trek to the Bradley Center and climb the Everest-like stairs to the top of the student section – at least those of us who aren’t patient or brave enough to stand outside in the cold to be the early birds to the game – to watch our beloved Golden Eagles.

7. Jackets: While the air is growing colder and colder by the day, the bitter Wisconsin winds have not yet begun to merit the wearing of knee-length down parkas. This is good news for those who live for fashion, but also for the rest of us, who just really dislike wearing an extra fifteen pounds worth of clothing on a daily basis.

8. The beginning of holiday TV specials: “Oh, Great Pumpkin, where are you?!” Well, I’m not sure if I’m going to get a visit from the Great Pumpkin this Halloween, but I’m so excited to watch Linus wait all night in the pumpkin patch for him. I’m also looking forward to watching such classics as “Hocus Pocus” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on everyone’s favorite ABC Family show, “13 Days of Halloween.”

I used to think there wasn’t much to look forward to in fall except the end of it, but I’ve found recently that isn’t the case. Finding exciting things about the season makes it more enjoyable and gives me so much more to look forward to than the 25th of December.