The Just-Right Season

Fall is the favorite season for many people, but the reason may run deeper than just liking all things pumpkin-flavored.

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photo by Jess Daninhirsch

It’s not only the changing leaves that make people fall in love with autumn.

Anna Parsons, Senior Staff Writer

The summer sun turns into comforting clouds. Scorching temperatures drop to chilly and breezy ones. Surrounding colors turn to warm oranges, reds, and browns, and there’s always a slight smell of pumpkin in the air. These are the aspects of the months– September, October, and November–that entice people, make them fall in love with and become completely obsessed with fall.

But is it the pumpkin-spice drinks, oversized sweaters, and changing leaves that cause fall-lovers to become overjoyed after a long summer, or is there a scientific reason that people are obsessed with the season change? Maybe, it’s a mixture of both. 

The obsession with fall isn’t one that starts to develop only in coffee-lovers in their mid-20s. It is a process that is reinforced from a very young age. When autumn comes around each year, it signifies the beginning of a whole lot of “new”s. New classes, new school supplies, making new friends in the coming school year, and not only are there many new aspects of life happening, there is also a holiday where everyone can dress up however they desire.   

For kids, Halloween has always been an exciting night where free candy is collected from every neighborhood house and the most elaborate costumes are worn. But the holiday continues to fortify the irresistibility of fall as those kids grow up with haunted houses and Halloween parties. There was always something happening when autumn came around during people’s childhood, which built an attachment to the season from a young age. 

The excitement that occurs during autumn creates a focus around that time of year. Fall-fanatics associate positive aspects of life with those months and thus become very attached to the season. These times of year are known as temporal landmarks, which occur when people gain motivation through new starts like a new school year, as well as anticipation of holidays and exciting elements of a time of year. Halloween, Thanksgiving, a new football season, and even pumpkin spice lattes persuade people to turn into fall-lovers simply because of the positive association they have with this time of year. 

The obsession with fall isn’t one that starts to develop only in coffee-lovers in their mid-20s. It is a process that is reinforced from a very young age.”

Fall has a psychologically positive connotation that runs deeper than an undying love for all things red, orange, and yellow. Fall affects the mind in ways most may not have ever noticed. People feel more optimistic, more productive, and more motivated due to the season being a temporal landmark.  

But autumn-enthusiasts don’t just adore the season because of its deep psychological effects. Simply put, fall makes people feel very comfortable and cozy.

The warm colors like red, orange, yellow, purple, and brown contrasting with the chill air and mixing with the smells of cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin spice make people want to curl up under a thick blanket and listen to the fire crackle. Now doesn’t that sound great? 

Many describe autumn as being “just right” in temperature as well. During fall, people can take a break from the overbearing sun but refrain from putting on numerous layers of clothes. People generally gravitate towards anything that provides them with a comforting feeling; therefore, many become attached to this time of year. 

Even the simple colors that encompass the season draw people in. Psychologically, red brings out feelings of gentleness, energy, excitement, and warmth. Yellow is associated with happiness, optimism, laughter, and cheer. Orange encompasses enthusiasm and sophistication, and brown surrounds stability, security, and reliability.

Warm colors commonly make people’s appetites soar. Fall food is a major component of the season, and the warm colors entice fall-lovers even more to eat all things pumpkin and cinnamon. When all mixed together, the colors of autumn design a swirl of positive feelings. 

So, when the first chilly breeze sweeps in and autumn-devotees start pulling out their cable-knit sweaters and spending exorbitant amounts of money on pumpkin-spice lattes, know that their excitement over the season is more than an unfounded obsession.  This time of year affects people on levels many do not notice. From the way the love of fall is ingrained in people from the time they are kids to the way the colors produce feelings of warmth and optimism, this “just right” season is surrounded by cheer and anticipation.