Off The Cuff

Your Universe editor Salem Hanna occasionally shares his thoughts with YU readers on any number of subjects. This week, he shares his love of the most underrated season of the year.

Got the end of summer blues? You’re not alone. Ask a lot of people in the country what their favourite season is and autumn will rarely be their answer. Unlike winter, it doesn’t have a huge bank holiday. Unlike springtime, it doesn’t feel like a relief after months of dark mornings and icy winds. All those beautiful, comfortable summer clothes you loved to wear as the sun soaked into your limbs are unusable for another nine months. And don’t forget that kids are back at school so the transport around London – whether by road or rail – suddenly seems worse than you ever remembered.

Well, forget that bad stuff because autumn is, frankly, brilliant. I’d personally take it over winter any day…and probably springtime. And here’s why you should, too.

The student social scene is back and freshened up

Unless you spent your whole summer break on the go, it’s unlikely you had a chance to personally catch up with everyone from UEL that you’ve missed. But now they’re back! Full of exciting stories! And you have stories to share too! Not to mention there’s thousands of new and enthusiastic faces. Wanna fill your union societies and sports teams with new talent and take your club to new heights? The freshers who can make it happen are here, somewhere. Get advertising and find them.

The temperature is right most of the time, most of the season

Let’s be honest: summer’s only fun when you’re outside. No one likes being on a bus or train so humid it’s about to form its own rain clouds. Or having something important to do indoors when the sun is shining through the windows, reminding you that you should really be elsewhere.

The vast majority of autumn is always more pleasant than you remember it being. You may not get away with shorts, but you can still get away with T-shirts until well into October. You’re rarely cold in the daytime and light jackets do the job in the evening. Contrast that with March, when it’s ‘officially’ spring but more often than not you’re wondering why it still feels like winter even though the buds have appeared on the trees.

The aesthetics are amazing!

The sky is grey a bit more often than it was the previous few months, but…look at the view when it occasionally clears. Low sun shining on golden leaves, those same leaves eventually forming a similarly-coloured carpet as autumn progresses. November is one of the prettiest months of the year in the British countryside, and easily the prettiest we’ll get until late spring, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Seasonal festivals

Christmas looms in winter, but autumn still serves up Halloween, Bonfire Night and all the fun that accompanies them. You won’t spend a fortune on presents for these parties and you probably won’t be forced to spend time with that one relative you’ve spent the last year trying to avoid. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

New football season

OK, so football didn’t come home. Not yet anyway – Wembley is hosting the Euro 2020 final whether England get to play in it or not. But there’s definitely a new optimism about the sport in this country now, so time to see if the Waistcoated One (er, Gareth Southgate) can deliver on the team’s potential in a new wave of international fixtures. Click here to see the BBC article on how the new UEFA Nations League will work. And for those who care more for their club than their country…your fresh start has just begun. New signings, maybe new managers, a chance to wipe the slate clean from the disappointments of last season. Unless you’re a Man City fan, in which case the new season has a LOT to live up to. Plus, Lionel Messi is back in his Barcelona shirt, meaning he’ll be fun to watch again.

The return of trash TV

All your guilty pleasures are back. I don’t personally recommend spending more than the bare minimum of your life watching Simon Cowell look for the next big has-been or BBC dance critics turn themselves into panto judges, let alone reading the soap opera-esque private lives of the contestants in the tabloids. But hey, if that’s how you roll, now’s your annual chance to do it. Enjoy…or, tolerate while your friends enjoy!

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