As mornings grow colder and the days shorter, students don sweaters and enjoy afternoons at the Hillsdale County Fair. Boots are now in season, and trips to local orchards and pumpkin patches are a highlighted weekend event. Soon, the leaves will turn to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges, lighting the landscape on fire. Autumn is Michigan’s glory, and a favorite season for natives. But as we enter a time of fall festivity in Hillsdale, students from around the nation and the world leave behind beloved seasonal traditions from their own homes.
While Michiganders love their football, the South takes football season to a new level. From Montgomery, Alabama, junior Mollie Dill said football season is an important tradition. People celebrate with tailgates, where everyone has an assigned space. Some opt to have huge house parties to watch football on TV.
“It’s really something distinct to the South,” Dill said.
People in Dill’s hometown dress up for games — the opposite of here, since they don’t dress up for classes, she said.
For some, the distinct seasons’ changes are an adjustment. Senior Kelly Sullivan is from Orange County, and warm weather all year round has its perks, including fresh food. Sullivan said she misses all the street tacos.
“Just going there every day even in the winter because you can actually walk on the streets and there isn’t snow,” she said, “so that’s wonderful.”
Across the Atlantic Ocean and in the Mediterranean Sea, the Island of Mallorca has most of its traditions in the summer. According to Mallorca native and sophomore Nico De Enrique, running with the bulls and tomato festivals happen while school’s still out. Even shared traditions are different. Enrique said that Christmas in Mallorca is a relatively quiet event.
“It’s a much smaller deal,” he said, adding that in his mother’s home country of Germany, they wait till Christmas Eve to even put up a Christmas tree.
Even though Dill said she was a little sad to miss out on Alabama’s fall traditions, discovering Michigan’s seasonal treasures has helped her experience fall in a new way. She went to an apple orchard with her sorority sisters, something she hadn’t experienced in Alabama.
“It was so fun to try fresh cider,” she said. “We have pumpkin patches in Alabama, and that’s not really the same thing.”
Even the long winters haven’t lost their magic for Dill. She said when her friends told her she would need a snow brush for her car, she didn’t believe them until it snowed.
“Seeing snow is the coolest thing ever,” she said. “Every time I see it.”