Students find ways to enjoy fall on and off campus

Campus organizations offer opportunities to enjoy the autumn season


The Washingtonian House hosted a pumpkin carving event on Saturday, Oct. 26. Photo courtesy of Allie Stankewich.

Annalisa Waddick

At long last, the leaves have changed, the pumpkins have ripened and the temperature has dropped, which can only mean one thing: fall has arrived. The favorite season of many college students, fall is full of fun, food and festivities, and Lexington is no exception. Nearly every week there are different school-sponsored fall events for students to participate in, ranging from campfires to apple picking.

Student Activities Director Kelsey Goodwin is responsible for organizing many of the school-sponsored events open to students and has plans for numerous activities to come.

“I will offer another day trip to D.C. in addition to the one offered during Reading Days, and have worked with individual student groups to plan day trips to places like Carter Mountain Orchard and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond,’’ Goodwin said.

Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville is a popular destination for many students, as it is located only an hour away and is open almost every day in September, October and November. The orchard lets visitors pick their own fruit and currently offers picking of both apples and pumpkins.

In addition to the orchard, many students spend autumn outside other places, soaking up the last of the warm weather.

“I really enjoy hiking. At this time it’s cool [outside], you won’t be too hot or too cold,” Sherry Gu, ‘22, said.

Outing Club will also host a myriad of fall events for members, including activities like pear picking, invasive species removal and a mountain hike. All Outing Club events are listed on the Outing Club webpage, found on the Washington and Lee website.

Allie Stankewich, ‘23, is an Outing Club member who spends many of her days outside, in addition to attending outing club events.

“I love spending time outside and enjoying the combination of the crispness of the air and the sun,” Stankewich said. “I actually explored some of the back campus trails, and running through the fall foliage was super nice… it’s one of my favorite times of year. I just enjoy laying outside and taking it all in.”

A few of the decorated pumpkins at the Washingtonian Society’s event on Oct. 26. Photo courtesy of Allie Stankewich.

Students can also attend the Lexington Farmers Market, which runs on Wednesdays from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and sells local produce. The last outdoor market was held on October 30th, and will switch to indoors in November to accommodate the weather.

Even though fall is a notoriously busy time for students, many choose to put aside some time to enjoy the season, and new opportunities are created each year due to rising demand.

“Attendance at student organization events continues to increase year after year,” Goodwin said. “I attribute that 100 percent to our students, who work hard to make this a vibrant and engaged campus, and to the Executive Committee, who work to empower student leadership across campus.”

Anna Blackburn, ‘23, has taken advantage of the opportunities offered and is looking forward to even more in the years ahead.

“I’ve been to the RUF Fall Festival when they partnered with swing dancing, and to Okt(sober)Fest… [and] I’m looking forward to a fall festival with my hall,” Blackburn said. “If campus had more similar things to what I’ve already been to, fires and hot chocolate, that would be a good way to celebrate the fall.”

Jessie Ogden, ‘23, had another idea on what she wishes campus would sponsor.

“[I’d like] pumpkin carving and maybe massive piles of leaves that we could go jump in on the lawn. I think that would be great,” Ogden said.

No matter if it’s leaves or pumpkins, fall can be a time of great fun. Especially, as Stankewich notes, if you put some time aside to try new things.

“I would recommend that if anyone sees posters or emails about fall events going on to take advantage because they’re so much fun,” Stankewich said.