Photo of leaves changing from green to autumn red. While the changing season can mean time with family and celebrating traditions, it can also be hard on mental health with the transition to dreary weather and stressful schedules. Photo by Emmet Bolls.

With the changing season and people settling into the busy routine of another school year, fall is a valuable time to reflect upon what autumn means to us. Though fall often includes heavier structure and busier schedules —which can be stressful— many Franklin High School students expressed positivity and excitement for what the months to come will bring.

For some students, fall means more time with friends and re-engaging with school after summer break. For others, fall sports such as football and soccer offer an accessible way for students to reimmerse in the school community. “I really enjoy all the football games at Franklin, and getting to dress up for the themes,” says Franklin senior Phebe Doukas. “I’m also a big fan of spirit week and homecoming, which I think are going to be a lot of fun this year.” 

Doukas finds joy in things as simple as the changing leaves; she says, “my favorite thing about fall is when the weather slowly changes and all the leaves turn bright red.” This sentiment was echoed by Franklin senior Jack McAvoy, who says, “I love the fall colors and spending time with family.” There is much beauty to be seen in the changing colors of nature during this time of year.

In addition to the return of school sports and beautiful fall colors, many Franklin students voice enthusiasm about their family’s traditional Thanksgiving foods and celebrations. Franklin senior Ryan Ghazi said, “I get excited about the food at Thanksgiving. We cook a lot, and my favorites are the mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving steak, and roasted radishes.” Ellie Briggs, a Franklin freshman, echoed this sentiment about the importance of time with family over the holidays: “at Thanksgiving we go around the table and talk about what we’re thankful for. That is meaningful to me.” 

Fall is certainly a beautiful time of year, especially in the Pacific Northwest where the crisp fall days are undeniably gorgeous. For many, however, autumn can also be a difficult time. The constant rain and colder weather often pushes people inside, which can feel cozy, but staying inside more can feel isolating and lonely. Additionally, shorter days and less sunlight can negatively affect overall mood and sleep, which impact overall health and well-being. It’s important to be gentle with yourself and push yourself to do everything that you love, even if it takes an extra push in the dreary weather.

As the seasons change, shorter days and fading liveliness can put us in different places mentally and emotionally. Nevertheless, it’s important to take in the season and value its precious moments, making space for them and making space for gratitude. Embracing the beauty of the season, especially while we’re often spending more time with friends and family, can help ward off the doldrums of dreary weather and overly busy schedules. 

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