Autumn Magic

| Niels ter Meer

Rain, leaves, cold, and somehow even more rain. The finger-freezing slidy-season is coming, and the seasonal depressions with it. But student columnist Niels ter Meer thinks there’s another side to these leaves.


Like almost everything about Dutch weather (wet and hot summers anyone?), Autumn is quite the mixed bag. With almost every exam, it rained either on the way there, the trip back, or both. The one other time I got soaked on my way to uni – it felt more like drowning than cycling – the weather gods also took my lower-left trackpad button. (Don’t worry, my tank – I mean Thinkpad – is still okay.) You can almost taste the seasonal depression in the air.

But remember, a mixed bag implies that there are also good parts; it’s a kind of magic like that. Let’s show the other side of the coin/leaves to alleviate our collective incoming seasonal depression.

For one, the trees are going full Marie Kondo, and decide that their leaves don’t spark them joy anymore. Usually, they don’t spark joy in us either – to the extend we blow each other out of bed over them. Train delays, cycle delays, and slippery leafy corners spark even less joy.

On the other hand, there’s the whole colour show that comes with it. My inner artist is loving this. Just from my window I can see bright yellow, slight green tinges, bright red, and brown – oh no, those are just bare branches.

On those cycle delays: yes, the trips take longer with that lukewarm and at times very wet wind. When it’s one of those days it can ruin the rest of it, even if it’s sunny after. But let’s turn another leaf: you don’t always have to lug around scuba diving equipment to get to uni. Often, it’s just a bit of wind; refreshing, regardless of whether it’s jetting in your face or blowing through your hair. Take those couple of minutes while you’re blown or battling towards your destination to relax and enjoy the scenery.

And once again, for the people in the back: leaves are slippery! Do as I say and not as I do: don’t allow yourself to be a leaf in the wind, and hit the brakes before (leafy) turns — before the ground does it for you.

With the exam weeks approaching or already ongoing, most of us are staring at lots of black on white – depressing shades of grey. While we’re procrastinating once again, let’s not turn towards our phones or turn a leaf this time, but let’s turn our heads towards the sky instead. The almost unbroken blue of the sweltering summer is replaced by less depressing textured grey, and, if you’re lucky, by the textured orange, red, and purple of a beautiful sunset.

So with both the exam weeks and the finger-freezing slidy-season approaching, don’t forget to take a break and enjoy Autumn for a little bit. Let your inner kid out, find a pile of leaves and jump in it, maybe share it with a friend! Go get that endorphin boost. I already have.

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