Break kicked off in the most classically fall way possible: The green scenery was long gone, replaced by a spectrum of warm-colored leaves, and the long-awaited crispness in the air had finally arrived. It was the perfect weather to finally bundle up in your favorite sweater, cherish the end of midterms, and look forward to enjoying the objectively greatest season (this cannot be disputed). However, unless you haven’t been in New Jersey for long enough to know better by now, you probably suspected that the coming week was not about to be smooth-sailing autumn bliss.
As a New Jersey resident, the erratic, highly questionable, and always confusing nature of our climate is nothing new to me. I began my break, of course, by hibernating for the entirety of the weekend in order to make up for my lack of sleep from the previous two weeks. I then figured that on Monday I would finally arise from the dead and do something slightly more productive. I woke up to the sound of a tree branch hitting my bedroom window — the lovely result of the violent rainstorm (more like a monsoon) taking place outside. A Jersey monsoon is typically a come-and-go type of deal that lasts for 30 minutes and then magically disappears into brilliant sunshine, but this one stretched on all day. While I wish that was an exaggeration, it did give me some excuse to extend my hibernation for another twenty-four hours.
The next couple of days saw the return of the cool, calm autumn we all know and love. I visited my old high school and the air quickly filled with nostalgia as I sat in my old classrooms and attempted to describe to my teachers what life at Princeton is like. My feeling of “being old” only grew as Halloween rolled around, and for the first time, I was the one handing out candy to the little kids in my neighborhood. I must say this new role was not nearly as fun as my old one.
On Wednesday, in typical unexplainable fashion, New Jersey’s crisp November air instantly disappeared in exchange for mid-seventies and sunny skies. Unlike the weather, I predictably used the weather gods’ volatile emotions as justification to escape all responsibilities. I figured I would take it easy and go for a nice scenic walk in the park, but after seeing more than one incredibly fit senior citizen run past me, a bit of guilt began to set in and I decided I should try to jog. And, of course, my grueling workout was followed up with a classic Jersey bagel from the best shop in town.
As fall break came to a close, my emotions were as confused as New Jersey’s autumn weather. I had gotten used to sleeping 12 hours a night once again, and the thought of giving up the comforts of home was beyond unappealing. Not to mention that, at this point, I had run out of excuses not to at least start my R2. I managed to crank out a couple semi-decent pages of writing in between episodes of “The Office” and sporadic naps. While the comfort and security of home would be hard to leave, a week without my friends (love how our fall break doesn’t align with any other school’s!) made me realize how much I missed campus.
In its usual fashion, autumn this year brought with it a host of new experiences, unpredictable events, and mixed emotions; perhaps that’s the beauty of it. But I think it’s safe to say we’re all ready for a well-deserved Thanksgiving feast and, more importantly, for Christmas to come already.