Baby, it’s cold outside!

Lately, the campus has undergone a drastic weather change, a very cold one. It seems as though we’ve passed up autumn and gone straight to winter. This is very common of east Tennessee, and I love it. Cold weather is one of my favorite things. I love cozy sweaters, crackling bonfires, and hot coffee. One of the most exciting aspects of this brisk fall weather is the bonding between students that occurs.

The cold weather is a welcome change. In my life, cold weather has always signified the beginning of movie nights. In fact, I have a few traditions of movie nights. Beginning on the first cold night in October, I begin watching scary or Halloween themed movies in anticipation of the upcoming holiday. I typically choose the movies at random, but there are a few staples that are absolutely necessary. These include: Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Psycho actually happens to be one of my all time favorite movies, as well. LMU has even gotten into the cold weather movie-watching spirit as well, and the student activities department showed Steven King’s The Shining in the student center last Friday. They even provided free popcorn; can you say awesome?! It was a great way to all come together and spend time with our fellow students.

My Halloween marathon ends at the end of October, and I have a similar Christmas movie marathon that begins in December. My movie watching isn’t limited to holiday-themed films, though. Anyone who knows me could tell you I absolutely adore Disney movies, so very much. I make it a point to watch as many as possible between studying, sleeping, and going to classes. I have seen just about every Disney movie in existence, even the old, obscure black and white films. There’s nothing better than curling up in bed to watch a good Disney film.

Like many people, cold weather is directly correlated to my coffee intake. Luckily for myself, and all of the

 other LMU students, Campus Grounds, our coffee shop on campus, serves Starbucks coffee! It’s located in our student center, and the smell is heavenly. Though they serve coffee year-round, Campus Grounds gets into the seasonal spirit itself by offering special seasonal drinks. The salted caramel mocha and the pumpkin spice latte are two of my favorites. It’s like drinking a cup full of festivity, as odd as that sounds. Living in an apartment-style housing is also great for brewing your own coffee as well. You can always count on some quality fellowship among suite mates and friends over a steaming pot of coffee. My main liquid intake in fall is more than likely some form of coffee. You can’t beat starting off your day and warming your bones with a nice, tall cup of coffee right in your room.

Cold weather also kicks off bonfire season. Bonfires are great for cookouts, s’mores, and just plain old get-togethers.  They provide an excellent way to get out and enjoy the great weather, without any of the shiver-inducing side effects. The college ministry at my church has already held several bonfires complete with s’mores and great fellowship. Our college pastor always cooks a delicious meal over the fire in a dutch-oven. They’re always a good time and open to everyone!

Speaking of being cozy at bonfires, the cold weather cues a change in clothing. The common wardrobe on campus quickly switches from t-shirts and shorts, to sweaters and jeans. This is one of my most anticipated changes brought on by the weather change. I love sweaters! I have a huge collection, and for me it’s the “uglier” the better. Granted everyone has their own unique style preference, so I get the occasional odd glance when I wear some of my sweaters. I frequent Goodwills and Salvation Army stores to find unique sweaters for colder weather. Some of the second-hand sweaters I have found are quite the gems! In fact, there is a Goodwill store not far from campus where I found one of my all time favorite sweaters. (shown in the picture to the right). 

As the cold weather encourages us to stay inside with the heat on, we begin the transition to indoor activities. No longer is it common to see people playing an impromptu game of volleyball or football. Instead there is a much more common scene of roommates and friends gathering to play board games, card games, and video games. Some of my friends and I just recently began playing an adventure-style card game called Munchkin. In the game you play as a character that has to fight several monsters while leveling up. Though we can all get pretty competitive, it’s a really fun way to pass the time and just hang out with one another without the looming stress of school. One of the campus ministries is even hosting affinity groups this semester, open to everyone. In these weekly gatherings, students can participate in activities ranging from Pinterest craft parties to board game nights.

The cold weather, although abrupt this year, has certainly fostered a positive change here on campus. We’ve traded in our ice cold lemonade for coffee, our flip flops for boots, and our outdoor activities for cozy indoor recreation. Most importantly, we’ve come closer together. A feeling of togetherness seems to permeate through campus around this time of year. If you enjoyed reading this or want to know more about my ‘wild’life at LMU, please follow my blog!

I’ll leave you with a question: What are your favorite things to do in the Fall/Winter months?!

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