Fall in Chapel Hill brings to mind images of a bustling Franklin Street, students packed into cafes like sardines and football tailgates nearly every weekend. Needless to say, this fall will look different, but UNC students are still ready to embrace the season.
Senior Railey White and sophomore Tania Tobaccowala are both looking forward to spending more time in nature.
White said her family has made a yearly tradition out of going hiking and visiting North Carolina mountain towns such as Blowing Rock and Boone.
“When I think about fall, I definitely think about taking trips to the mountains to see the leaves change and cooler weather,” White said.
Tobaccowala hopes cooler weather will make it easier to enjoy the outdoor spaces in Chapel Hill.
“During the whole coronavirus quarantine, I've been taking a lot of walks,” she said. “I think it's just something that's keeping me sane, you know, going in nature and trying to find the trails.”
Cooler weather brings with it warm and hearty food and drinks. The students shared some of their fall must-haves.
“I'm not exactly a pumpkin spice girl, but I do like apple cider and candy apples,” White said.
Contrary to White, Tobaccowala likes pumpkin-flavored goods, and enjoys the cookies and chocolates at Trader Joe's.
Eric Groves, a junior, is also looking forward to all things pumpkin being in season.
“I want to make some pumpkin muffins soon,” he said. “I also like pumpkin spice teas. Those are my favorite drinks.”
Groves is the workshop coordinator and diversity and inclusion chair for the student-run theater group, UNC Pauper Players. Last fall, he performed in Pauper Players’ production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, to a packed Varsity Theatre. While live theater is not an option this semester, Groves said he is still optimistic about the work he can do virtually.
“I'm really excited to help the organization grow in diversity, grow as a diverse theatre organization and tell good stories,” he said. “And I definitely want to have some virtual workshops, maybe things like taking care of your voice, different ways to connect virtually, like through dancing, things like that.”
Another change this fall is that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the band, cheer squad and fans will not be present at football games. Groves, who is also in the marching band, said that fortunately he is still able to maintain the friendships he made in the band virtually.
“I'm in a band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, and so I'm excited that we get to connect virtually this fall,” Groves said. “Then I'm also the corresponding secretary for our chapter. My goal is to connect with other Kappa Kappa Psi chapters throughout the United States.”
As a cheerleader, White is also experiencing an unprecedented football season. While she is usually cheering at games every weekend, this fall has been different.
“I'd definitely readjusted my expectations for the year,” White said. “I'm just trying to make the best of it."
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