Graphic by Slavena Peychinova
As the leaves turn bright red, yellow and orange, students are taking advantage of the great weather to enjoy some fun fall activities. From going out to rake the fallen leaves to socially distant hang-outs with friends at local pumpkin patches, it is clear that students are filled with the autumn spirit. Despite the global pandemic that has halted what normal daily lives look like, students are making the most of the free time on their hands to get out and, safely, spend time with friends and family.
Many students have gone to various local parks to make the best of the great weather, seeing that the days have cooled off from the summer heat and the bright blue skies have been clear. Parks such as Black Hill Regional Park located in Boyds, MD are beautiful during this time of year. The changing colors of the leaves complement the spectacular view of Little Seneca Lake, a lake located within the park. Junior Rachel Sharp went hiking at Black Hill with a couple of friends and said, “It was nice to see the fall scenery around us. Even though I hate hiking, going with your friends is great, [and] it’s a good way to exercise and be in nature.”
Senior Chris Mejia went with his family to Gravelly Point Park near Washington D.C a few weeks ago where he got to spend the day outside and watch the view of planes taking off from a nearby airport. Mejia said, “Going out with your family to a park is fun—especially to Gravelly Park, I love Gravelly Park so much! There was a lot of space so it was safe, and I definitely recommend that spot to people.”
With Halloween having been right around the corner, another popular activity among students this season is going to local farms and orchards to pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve into a jack-o’-lantern. Butler’s Orchard, located in Germantown, MD, offers people the opportunity to go pumpkin picking or take hayrides. Junior Justin Pham enjoyed his visit to this fall-favorite location and shared through text, “I had a fun (and safe) time! My friends and I picked out our own pumpkins, and we went to my friend’s house for a socially-distanced pumpkin carving.”
Students have also been taking home the autumn festivities by decorating their homes with classic fall decorations or lighting a pumpkin-spice scented candle in their room to really set the autumn mood. Sharp painted pumpkins and made Halloween-themed cookies with her grandma, and sophomore Diya Britto set up a projector outside where she was able to watch Sixth Sense, a psychological thriller, with her friends. “It was so nice to bond with friends again, and it was just a cool experience,” she said.
Safety always comes first, so in order to do these activities with friends, it is very important to follow COVID safety guidelines. Many students said that they wear masks and try to maintain social distancing if they are hanging out with friends at any of these locations.
As the school year goes on, stress seems to build up in students, but these autumn activities are a perfect way to take a moment to forget about that stress and just have some fun.