October in the Tropics

Rachel Newman, Staff Writer

The chilly autumn air, the vibrant orange and red leaves, and the cozy fireplace are all the best parts about fall. Here at FGCU, though, we get none of that. The temperatures rarely dip below 80 degrees, the palm trees stay the same color year-round, and it is rare for any house–especially dorm–in Florida to have a fireplace. However, we do have one benefit when it comes to Halloween: people can actually see our costumes.

“I’m so used to wearing layer upon layer for Halloween when I would go trick or treating. The Florida weather is really nice because you can dress up true to the costume,” FGCU Freshman and Chicago native Katie Havener said. “I think I appreciate that aspect more now that I’m older.”

Fortunately, most students feel the same as Havener in that the Florida heat does not detract from their ability to thoroughly enjoy Halloween. Junior Briana Briggs has never even seen snow or experienced the change in seasons that goes on up north but she that the weather does not affect the way she enjoys Halloween.

“The only time I ever feel like I have missed out is when I watch movies or TV shows where the seasons are more pronounced than they are in Florida,” Briggs said.

Students like Freshman Erik Jepson would rather it be enjoying the warm weather than the snow, but some Floridians do miss out on some of the beauty of fall.

“I really miss the leaves though. There is no other experience like watching the trees turn bright red and fiery orange,” Havener said. “The crisp autumn air you hear people talk about is no myth. It’s a feeling nearly impossible to describe. I’m happy I live in Florida and get the chance to go to FGCU, but the memory of fall in Chicago will always bring a smile to my face.”

Another struggle that the change in seasons up north and the lack thereof in Florida brings is the snowbirds, clogging up the interstate and making it harder for commuter students to make the drive to campus.

FGCU students have found their own ways to enjoy Halloween, attending the FGCU Cooking Club’s Halloween Potluck, the Halloween Night Hike at Waterfront, and the Programming Board’s Pumpkin Party and EagleBOOlooza. There are even some activities and events outside of the University that students take advantage of to get more into the Halloween spirit, such as Halloween Horror Nights at Universal, Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens, and Farmer Mike’s Haunted Corn Maze and Fall Festival. Some of these events could not happen up north because of the snow and low temperatures, so the Florida heat may even increase students’ ability to enjoy Halloween.

For students feeling like they are missing out on fall, go grab a pumpkin spice latte or pumpkin cream cheese muffin from Starbucks, watch a Hallmark movie or fall episode of Gilmore Girls, and remember that only Floridians can celebrate Halloween on the beach.