Fall Reflections: Things To Do On and Off Campus

On campus, the last of the vibrant leaves meander gradually to the ground from their arboreal abode, bolstered by the cool breeze. Time continues to fly by, encapsulated by the chaotic flurry of a relentless academic to-do list. The brutal deadlines on research papers, perplexing calculations on lab reports, and colossal demands of midterms are punctuated by memorable events both on and off campus, as winter gradually creeps closer.

Several travel guides claim that the months between September and December in New York State dispense some of the most breathtaking and spectacular natural sites known to humankind. I had the privilege to experience this first-hand through visits, on back-to-back weekends, to Seneca Lake State Park and Mendon Ponds Park.

Fall foliage at Seneca Lake State Park

Seneca Lake State Park


The former, a two-hour picturesque drive away, through wine country accompanied by a rare appearance from the sun on a warm day, was a truly memorable experience. The sun’s rays reflecting off the flawless surface of Lake Seneca resulted in a stunning display of colors that words cannot describe.

Fall foliage at Mendon Ponds Park

Mendon Ponds Park


The latter, a unique opportunity extended by Professor Jarrod Ingles, who offered to accompany a few of us, was a nice day away from the classroom and part of my Narratives of Travel writing course. Strolling along the barely-trodden, narrow paths with golden leaves pirouetting to the ground all around us, and listening to Professor Ingles’ soothing voice imparting fascinating nuggets of knowledge, epitomized a much-needed, perfect afternoon spent amidst untouched nature, away from the bustle of daily life.

Classmates from my Narratives of Travel writing course at Mendon Ponds

Classmates from my Narratives of Travel writing course at Mendon Ponds.


The mood on campus embodied a stark contrast to the tranquil stillness of nature; Halloween weekend was upon us and the excitement was palpable in the air. A vast majority were faced by the most complicated of conundrums: which costume to wear this time around. Call me biased, but if we had attended a costume-judging contest, my friends would have taken the prize by a landslide victory.

Students in Halloween costumes

My friends on Halloween.


The weekend passed by in a whirlwind of enjoyable events like trips to a very elaborate haunted house and themed parties that entailed copious amounts of dancing, the effects of which were felt well into the following week. Ever since, the hours spent in Gleason Library have begun increasing consistently as the days are waning steadily, giving way to the chill of winter and, from my perspective, the novel concept of daylight savings. A blink of an eye later, another month has passed on this incredible journey. College life may be a lot of things, but it is never boring. Trust me, you will never run out of things to do. Ever.

About the author

Adit Ganguly

18-year-old optimist, photographer, blogger, guitarist and foodie here. If you're the kind of person that gets irrationally excited when thinking about processes like the phosphorylation of fructose-1-phosphate to fructose-1,6-phosphate, you and I would get along nicely. Jack of all trades, master of none. Content Editor for the Journal of Undergraduate Research, proud Yellowjacket and member of the Class of 2020.

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