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Soon, the leaves will turn to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges, lighting the land­scape on fire. | Isabella Redjai Courtesy

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.”

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    You can’t beat Michigan in the Autumn, I believe the colors are the best in the midwest. And the cider and holiday foods are awesome. If you get a chance, try a hayride pulled by horses. Nothing like sipping a hot cup of coffee or cocoa while laying in a straw pile on a wagon pulled by horses in the cold autumn! I did that back in west Michigan where I came from and it was awesome! Espe­cially if you use big draft horses.