Maple pecan coffee, pumpkin spice everything, fly fall ‘fits, football games, and fairs — fall has finally come through, and we are living for it. Sure, school is in full swing, but don’t forget to balance hard work with well-deserved play. In celebration of the little things, here’s a bucket list to make sure your autumn is extra lit.
1. Go apple picking.
Apples are responsible for some pretty bomb fall treats — think apple cider, apple pie, apple butter, candy apples, and on and on. If you’re a fan of this fave fall flavor, try amping up the experience with a trip to an apple orchard ’round your way, where you can pick your own bounty straight from the trees.
2. See a drive-in movie.
Pull up on this oldie but goodie, and let yourself drift back in time. Many drive-ins that are still in operation show recent flicks at a cheaper price than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Go catch that movie you missed in the theaters and get those memories poppin’.
3. Take a hayride through a pumpkin patch.
You can’t claim to go hard for this season if you’re not about that hayride-in-a-pumpkin-patch life. Sometimes the hayride host or hostess tells ghost stories, and sometimes you can get dropped off at an apple orchard or in the pumpkin patch to pick fruits to take home. Bonus points if the hayride is haunted and there’s a spooky corn maze involved.
4. And then, carve any pumpkin you pick.
There’s always the classic jack-o’-lantern, but if you want to make something more unique, sculpt hand-drawn designs or even messages à la Zayday into your gourd. Add in a flameless candle for effect, and your masterpiece will be literally lit.
5. Enjoy a ghost tour with your crew.
Discover local haunted history at sites you may never have visited; or, if true stories of spirits are a bit too scary for your liking, check out a play haunted house or haunted amusement park attraction nearby.
6. Hit up Afropunk.
Afropunk is a yearly, multi-location festival — Brooklyn, ATL, London, Paris, and Johannesburg — that celebrates all the layers of Black/African culture, epitomizing carefree Black girlness through music, art, fashion, and more. Missed it this year? Follow them on IG to stay up on the latest and find out about next year’s events.
7. Binge watch your fave Halloween movies.
Fall staples like Twitches and Twitches Too are a must, and when you’re ready for a really good scare, follow those up with Candyman, Get Out, and The Purge: Election Year.
8. Start on college apps.
If you are an upperclassman, do yourself a favor and don’t put this on the back burner. Now is the time to start applying to schools, so you can have time to retake any standardized tests or correct any mistakes if need be. It also just reduces the stress of the school year overall. Remember, it’s carefree Black girl.
9. Cozy up with some fall bevvies.
Maple pecan seems to be the new (literally) hot thing. Try it in your coffee or chai, or stick with a familiar classic like pumpkin flavoring. Of course, hot cocoa, apple cider, and seasonal teas are always a good look, too.
10. Get into a good read.
Give your mind a break from all your schoolwork, and dive into a new mystery, your fall issue of Sesi, or another novel you’ve been wanting to start (or finish). The average American teen spends about nine hours a day in front of some sort of screen (computer, phone, tablet, etc.), and no shade to tech, but it’s all about balance. Take back your mind, and read an actual physical book for fun or spend some time writing or drawing. You’ll notice you feel a lot better overall.
11. Purge your closet.
The season change is the perfect reason to clear out those old pieces you don’t wear anymore and make room for those new looks you’re about to be rockin’. After you’ve figured out which pieces have to go, give them a second life by donating them. There are a ton of ways you can donate and feel good about where the items go. H&M even offers a 15% in-store voucher for any old clothes you bring in, always.
12. Check yourself.
When’s the last time you checked in on those New Year’s resolutions? Are you on track? What goals have you forgotten? What new ones are you pursuing? Take a a few moments, a day, a weekend, whatever you need, to recharge and center yourself. And then, rock out the last couple months of the 1-7 like the magical Black girl you are.
13. Bake cookies.
About those fall flavors though. Treat yo’self to some homemade caramel apple spice snickerdoodles, pumpkin spice cookies, maple sugar cookies, or whatever you’ve got a taste for. It’s the perfect indulgence after a long week of tests, homework, and overall school drama.