By Elaine Cashy
I love fall, and as someone who has never tasted the legendary pumpkin spice latte, my admiration of the season stems from more than squash flavored treats. Although I will always welcome sneering jack-o-lanterns and ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween, for me, autumn is far more about appreciation than fear.
During fall, you can see and feel the world change around you. Nothing is stagnant and every day the world looks different. Trees turn from green to warm reds, oranges and yellows; once clear sidewalks are covered in brown leaves waited to be crunched beneath booted feet; and sunny days become so much more valuable.
I find even more of a reason to appreciate this change in season, because as a senior it is impossible for me to experience anything without the small voice in my head reminding me that I have less than a year of experiences at Denison left.
Thus far, I have experienced my last move in day, my last activities fair, my last Anchor Splash, but the realization that this will be my last fall at Denison has given that tiny voice a little more power.
It’s hard to believe that only three years ago, I attended my first Denison football game, tried my first Whit’s flavor of the week and experienced that first Shorney 2 a.m. fire alarm. I never paid much attention to the first experiences, but now as I walk back to my senior apartment in the Sunnies, the shock of the realization that the majority of my Denison experience is over has finally settled.
This realization forces me to grow reflective of my experience at Denison, and the encompassing conclusion I come to is that it all goes too fast. I see the freshmen wandering around campus, swinging their lanyards around their hands, waiting in line to swipe into Curtis, and I cannot believe how much I have grown in those three years separating me from the current freshmen.
Fall semester freshman year was an awkwardly fun learning experience, full of trying every club and every subject. Sophomore year was when I realized the whole pre-med track was not for me, found my footing on campus and found out and pursued my interests. Junior year was my year of adventure and independence, wandering around Europe acting upon every impulse I had from bungee jumping to trying squid ink pasta.
Senior year seems to be defined as a mix of nostalgic reflection and future thinking. It’s a year of storytelling and bucket lists, of picture taking and resume editing, of tensions of realizing that I am slowly outgrowing the home that I have been carving my niche into the past three years.
So as my final fall here begins, I feel even more appreciative of the leaf covered sidewalks, the fall themed Whit’s flavor of the week and the uphill hiking, eager to scrape up as many memories as I can in my remaining time at Denison. Like fall, my time at Denison is a time of constant change, only now becoming visible with the reflection of senior year.