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Jump into fall: 10 must-dos on and off campus

By Sarah Tsimelkas

September 22 marked the Fall Solstice – otherwise known as the official start of all-things-pumpkin season. To some of you, that may mark the beginning of hibernation as you brace yourself for the inevitably shorter days and cooler temperatures. However, for those fall-loving, pumpkin spice fanatics prepared to fully embrace “sweater weather” in all of its glory – this one’s for you! See below for must-do’s on and off-campus this October that I guarantee will add some #Fall to your life.

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Enjoy the fall foliage

Many students don’t actually know this, but you don’t have to go far for a breath of fresh air away from the busy campus atmosphere. Situated behind South Village Residence is a beautiful nature path, which will be even more picturesque as the leaves start to change colour. Grab a friend and get outside to embrace the crisp fall air, even if it’s just for 10 minutes in between your classes.

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Grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte

If you aren’t already aware, Starbucks is now open right beside campus! Not only is it a great place to study if you want a break from the library, it is the home of the OG pumpkin spice latte. If the PSL isn’t your thing, *gasp* you can always try out one of their other fall favourites: the salted caramel mocha and the pumpkin spice chai tea latte are both delicious options that will have you feeling fall.

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Prepare for your future

Okay, so not the typical fall bucket list item, but the university has several graduate school test prep sessions going on in October. If you are interested in graduate school, dental school, or med school, take advantage of these free of charge sessions (as students, I think we can all appreciate the benefits of *free of charge* anything).

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Go apple picking

Pingle’s Farm Market, located at 1805 Taunton Rd, Hampton, is not too far off campus, and is the perfect destination to satisfy all of your fall needs! Pick your own apples or take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch – your Insta feed will thank you. If you’re really feeling festive, bake a pie with your pickings (or you can just buy one at their bakery and say you baked it).

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Meet your profs

If you are in the Health Science Faculty, this one is for you! The Health Science Society is hosting their annual Coffee With Profs event on October 17, which is a great time to mix and mingle with your professors. Coming from an upper year student, it is so important to get to know your profs early on! As you know, the classroom setting doesn’t always provide the opportunity to chat with them. And who doesn’t like free coffee? It’s really a win-win.

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Give back

With Thanksgiving around the corner, the idea of being grateful for what you have is at the forefront of our minds. The best way to demonstrate your appreciation is to give back to those who may not be as fortunate or are going through a difficult time. The Youth Project at UOIT is hosting a food drive on October 17 on campus – check them out on Facebook to find out how you can donate! In addition, on October 22, Canadian Blood Services is holding a blood donor clinic on campus. You can look to see if you are eligible and book an appointment. The clinic will be held at the university’s North location in the Gyms 3, 4, 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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Watch a scary movie

You can’t go through the season without watching at least one scary movie! Okay, or at least semi-scary – you don’t necessarily need to go all out with the Exorcist or Texas Chainsaw Massacre (but if you do, I highly suggest doing so in the company of others). What better way to face your fear of spooky flicks than at the Health Science Society Movie Night on October 16, where they will be showing a horror movie just in time for Halloween.

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Visit a haunted house

If scary movies are old news for you, try kicking it up a notch! Durham Escape Rooms have several locations in Durham Region, including one right here in Oshawa, and have a haunted house with all of the elements of a classic escape room for a limited time. From now until November 10, you can experience the thrill of working with others to escape, but with a spooky “Nightmare Neighbour” twist.

Carve a pumpkin (or paint one!)

Carving a Jack-o-lantern is a classic fall activity, no matter how old you get! That is until you’re covered in pumpkin guts and so is your entire kitchen floor. For an easier (but equally fun) take on pumpkin carving, drop by Paint a Pumpkin Night on October 29, hosted by UOIT’s Pediatric Oncology Club. The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Software and Informatics Research Centre (SIRC). Entry is $8, or $5 if you’re wearing a costume, which gets you snacks, paint, and your own pumpkin to use as your canvas!

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Enjoy your break.

Ontario Tech has introduced a… *drum roll please* … Fall. Reading. Week. From October 8 to 12, 2019 there will be no regularly scheduled activities, and you know what that means?! Not only will you have 4 extra days to recover from the turkey coma following Thanksgiving weekend, but you will have so much spare time to catch up on all of that reading (Netflix binge-watching).

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For more information on any of the on-campus events, simply click on the link that will bring you to the club or society Facebook page, which will provide you with updates about time and location of the events closer to the date.