By Emma Saso
Thinking of fall: thinking of fuzzy sweaters, halloween decorations and costumes, warm pumpkin spice tea on a crisp, chilly day. Life in Southern California has a way of blurring seasons together and making it unusually difficult to realize when a new one is upon us. Despite the lack of fresh autumn air that many of us associate with the season, now is indeed the time to break out the pumpkins and start embracing fall.
One indispensable aspect of this season for students and staff of the Claremont Colleges is fall break. These few days off stand as a beacon of hope, a promise for students of pure relaxation and recuperation following a stressful few weeks filled to the brim with midterms, papers, and daunting due dates. Students and professors alike use their break to unwind, decompress, and to celebrate the halfway mark of fall term.
For some, especially those that hail from nearby areas, this year’s fall break meant heading home for the long weekend to spend a relaxing few days with the company of family and friends, to sleep in, and to enjoy delicious home cooked meals.
Countless other Pitzer students, who live too far to make the journey home, turned to the Pitzer Outdoor Adventures club to find a trip to partake in over the course of break. POA sent out various different trips, all heading out to scenic, breathtaking outdoor locations both near and far. Trips went out to Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Death Valley, and many more places.
POA provided funding in the form of gas money for Pitzer students of all ages to come together and participate in these memorable trips. For first year Hunter Sidel, the best part of going on his fall break POA trip to Northern California was “being in the wilderness with only six people, getting close with those six people, and not having to worry about technology,” along with “getting a break from the overstimulation of college.” Given an opportunity to go on another break trip, Sidel would “definitely do it again.”
POA also sends students out on trips on a weekly basis. They hold meetings every Wednesday night at 10 PM in the Grove House living room, where all students are welcome to propose and sign up for trips that will go out the following weekend.
Some students, on the other hand, planned their own self-funded trips over fall break. For example, first year student Ben Schmidt went on a trip to “Rosorito, Mexico,” where he and six others rented a house, “played a ton of ping pong, and spent a ton of time in the ocean.”
During fall break, students disperse and the campus takes on a calmer, quieter air. The hustle and bustle of Friday and Saturday nights that has become so normalized is put on hold, and those remaining on campus become more susceptible to feel the occasional unexpected twinge of loneliness. No matter where you went over fall break, as Tuesday comes around to draw the long weekend to a close, all around campus you can expect to see smiling faces and hear exclamations of joy as friends are reunited and begin sharing their stories. Schmidt said, “when I came back, I was really happy to see my friends and be back in the community. That part I really enjoyed.”