Falling for Fall at ‘Cuse

One of the many great things about attending Syracuse University is getting to experience four seasons and the fun activities that a new season brings.  Growing up in Connecticut, I have fond memories of apple picking with my family, carving pumpkins with friends and going to haunted houses every weekend in October. When I was a freshman, I worried I was going to miss out on all my favorite fall activities. However, I quickly discovered that Syracuse University, and Central New York in general, is the perfect place to be for fall fun.

For anyone who loves fall as much as I do, here’s my personal Syracuse autumn bucket list.

1.)  Go apple picking: Apple picking season runs from mid-August to mid-October, so you have plenty of time during first semester to pick your own healthy and delicious snacks. New York is one of the top five apple-producing states, so if you love apples, it’s certainly a great place to be. There are three apple orchards within a 20-minute drive from SU, and the Department of Recreation Services hosts a weekend trip to Abbott’s Farm apple orchards in September. How ‘bout them apples?

2.)  Get lost in a corn maze- There are several farms in Onondaga County that have annual corn mazes in the fall. Get a small group of friends together one weekend to have a great day outdoors. Want to make it more of a challenge? Shut off your phone so you’re not tempted to GPS your way out!

3.)  Take a hike to see the fall foliage – The rolling hills and dense forests of Central New York offer some great hiking destinations. My personal favorite is Tinker Falls in Tully. I’ve hiked the trail in the spring and fall and had A popular hiking destination among Syracuse students is Green Lakes State Park, just a 20-minute drive from campus. Don’t have a car at school? No worries! The Department of Recreation Services offers a day trip to Green Lakes, so be sure to sign up!

4.)  Go to a haunted house- If you’re like me and love a good scare around Halloween, Syracuse has plenty. From haunted houses to hayrides, Central New York has it all. Orange After Dark, a series of late-night programs and events for SU undergrad students, offers a bus trip at the end of October to Fright Nights at the Fair. Students only pay $3! Check out to get information on other haunted attractions.

5.)  Go to a pumpkin patch: Want to pick your own little pumpkin for your dorm room? Visit a local pumpkin patch. You can paint or carve a pumpkin to spruce up your new dorm décor. SU offers shuttles to local pumpkin patches in October. If you have access to a kitchen, try baking pumpkin seeds. It’s a delicious snack!

6.) Experience the Rocky Horror Picture Show: The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult classic and cultural phenomenon. When you go to see Rocky Horror around Halloween, don’t expect to just sit and watch- moviegoers are active participants in counter dialogue and scene reenactments, along with a designated reenactment cast. This year, SU drama students will be reenacting a performance at Schine Underground.

7.) Take a Ghost Tour: The Onondaga Historical Association offers guided tours of different locations in the area, focusing on local legends and haunts. This year, Ben Tupper, owner of Tupper Property Management, hosted free guided haunted tours of the university neighborhood the weekend before Halloween. Pretty spooky stuff!

8.)  Sign up for Run of the Dead: I discovered Run on the Dead freshman year when I was researching fun stuff to do around Halloween in ‘Cuse. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, this is the place to find it. Run of the Dead is a 5K obstacle course run that features “zombies” chasing participants through the course. Runners wear flags and dodge zombies while navigating the obstacles (mud pits, tires, monkey bars, etc.). Think Spartan Race meets a haunted trail of terror. This is by far my favorite Halloween activity. This year, a group of friends and I ran as a team and had a blast!

9.) Volunteer: Giving back to the Syracuse community is fun and rewarding, and there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in the fall. I’ve volunteered at the Salvation Army and handed out candy to Boys and Girls Club members who trick or treat at dorms around campus. You can find volunteer opportunities on the Shaw Center website.

10.) Rewatch your favorite Halloween movie with your friends- Okay, so this one isn’t technically a Syracuse event, but this is something my friends and I do every October! This year, we watched Hocus Pocus to de-stress during midterms, armed with plenty of candy and popcorn. There’s no better way to relax during midterm madness!

This list is only a peek at some of the awesome things to do during the fall in Syracuse. Add your own!

Samantha Trombley ’18, is public relations and policy studies major. She is originally from Franklin, CT. Sam is a member of Hill Communications, the on-campus public relations firm. She is also a member of the Girl Code Movement, the women’s club lacrosse team, and the Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. In her free time she enjoys hiking, volunteering, traveling, and spending time with friends. More blogs from Samantha Trombley.

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Location, Location, Location

Me, a family friend, and my dad, when they came to visit for a Syracuse Men’s Basketball game.

When I first started thinking about where I wanted to go to college, I thought I wanted to go somewhere far, far away from home. Instead, I opted for Syracuse University. It had so many things I wanted: a beautiful campus, fantastic study abroad programs, a massive network of alumni. However, unlike High School Meg expected, it was less than a hundred miles from my hometown outside of Rochester, and I’ve found that it is pretty much the best possible location for me.

I’m far enough away from home that I don’t go to the same places I always did, and I don’t see the same people around as I used to. Only two or three of the people I graduated with came to Syracuse too, so there aren’t many familiar faces – which is what I was hoping for.

I’m also far enough from home that I don’t see my parents all the time. It’s easy for them to get here, if they want to or need to, but I still get to be independent and do my own thing.

However, when they do want or need to come down to ‘Cuse for a visit, it’s super convenient for everyone involved. It’s a painless drive, only about an hour and a half. That makes it too far away to justify coming just to drop something off, but not far enough away that a visit would mean booking a hotel for the weekend.  

For example, a few weekends ago, my parents came to town for the football game against Middle Tennessee. They got here mid-afternoon, laden with groceries and tailgating food. After a few weeks of ramen and hamburger helper, my friends and I felt like royalty as we crowded around my South Campus Apartment table with our pulled pork sandwiches. After I, my neighbors, my roommate, and my boyfriend all finished indulging in delicious, free food (free food!), we headed out to the football game. Afterwards, my parents drove home, and were back by eleven! An easy, stress-free day that I was able to spend with my parents, and then the rest of the weekend spent being a college student – eating poorly and avoiding doing laundry.

Last spring, being close to home meant that I could spend a weekend with my family, and not just for long weekends or breaks. Twice freshman year, I went home with a friend or two and soaked up the TLC of a weekend at home. For all that it’s nice to be independent, a good home-cooked meal and a bedroom to myself after a particularly stressful month is practically revitalizing.

Syracuse University strikes a perfect balance for me. I dreamt of going somewhere new, of being independent, of being able to begin college on a clean slate, and was able to accomplish that. I wanted holidays and trips home to be low-hassle, and I was able to accomplish that too. Truly, I believe I managed to have the best of both worlds here at Syracuse.


Meg Burnard ’20 is studying Communication Sciences and Disorders and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences. She grew up in Rochester, New York. Meg is a member of Democracy Matters, and in her free time she enjoys reading comics, going to concerts, and playing games with friends. More blogs from Meg Burnard.

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Class of 2016 Students Reflect on their Years at Syracuse


From pulling consecutive all-nighters and weekends with friends, seniors have plenty to reminisce over. This week, I went around campus in search of some insight from SU’s graduating seniors about what they will miss the most and what they learned here. Here’s what they said:

Erin Miller: Advertising major

“Syracuse has an amazing student startup scene. I’m really going to miss all the entrepreneurial hubs on and off campus. It’s going to be crazy not being around people that are super stoked about an orange school 24/7, but we got to spread that orange pride somehow: by taking over the world.”

Tringa Ajeti: Theater Management major and CRS minor

“I transferred to Syracuse so unfortunately I’ve only been here for three years, but I completely mean it when I say that transferring to SU was the best decision I’ve ever made. I really owe it all to the amazing friends I’ve made throughout this whole college journey- especially the ones I’ve shared crazy (but great!) memories with. While there have been a few lows here and there (like the number of all nighters I pulled in hopes of passing my core classes…) I can leave Syracuse knowing that I’ve really had a great college experience and that if I could go back and do it all over again, there would be nothing I would change about it.”

Victoria Pineda: Marketing Management major

“Coming to Syracuse was the best decision I made. Towards the end of my freshman year I was so close to transferring, but the new friendships I made influenced me to stay in the end.”

Cori Rosen: Television, Radio, Film major/ Marketing minor

“I’ll definitely miss the people I met over the past four years at Syracuse. But I’ll miss the greek salad from King David’s more.”

Celeste Sanchez: Political Philosophy major, Management Studies minor

“I’ve learned so much about who I truly am. I’ve grown up, gone through highs and lows, and have made life-changing friends. These four years definitely fly by so don’t take any of your time here for granted. Keep up with your classes, but still make sure to maintain a good balance and have fun.”

Eunice Kim: Advertising and International Relations dual major

“My four years at Syracuse were made up of the highest and lowest moments of my life, which really pushed me to think about who I am and where my identity lies. I am grateful that God was faithful in providing loving and caring friends who walked alongside me to explore these questions. I can confidently say that if it wasn’t for my time at SU, I would have never become the person that I am today.”

Jane Hong: Broadcast Digital Journalism and Political Science minor

“It’s hard for me to imagine not physically being surrounded by people who are as passionate, vibrant, and eager to learn: people who have constantly challenged me to think and see differently. Syracuse has rooted itself in me. And while it’ll always be a part of me, it’s tough to think that I won’t always physically be here to be a part of the community.”

Michelle Yan: Photojournalism and Psychology dual major

“Looking at the people I met my freshmen year – from my roommate to my photo professors/classmates to friends from church to God – and seeing how much of a stranger we were to each other to seeing how intimately we know each other now, I feel like things really came full circle…. Like an orange.”

Kenzie Lau-Kee: PR and Marketing dual major

“I’m going to miss how close I live to all my friends and how it’s socially acceptable to go out four nights a week.”

Paola Suro: Broadcast Digital Journalism major, Marketing and Psychology minors

“I was always told to enjoy college because it would be the best four years of my life. And that it all comes and goes in the blink of an eye. I never really understood what that meant until this semester. Coming to Syracuse was the best decision I’ve ever made, because I’ve not only grown, but I also made friendships that will last a lifetime. Go Orange!”

Alexander Lai: Biology and Psychology dual major

“I can honestly say that being at Syracuse has changed me for the better. I’m leaving college a completely different person, and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the laughs, lessons, sleepless nights, snowy days, and friends I’ve made along the way. I really did find myself here, so thanks, Syracuse, for reminding me in moments where I felt like nothing, that just being here was already everything. It was perfect.”


Eric Chuang ’17, is a  Public Relations major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in English & Textual Studies. Additionally, he is part of the Fashion & Beauty Communications Milestone Program. Eric is a California native, dog enthusiast, fervent traveler, and sushi connoisseur. When not taking Buzzfeed quizzes or coming up with clever Instagram captions, he can most likely be found jamming to Taylor Swift’s “1989” album. More blogs from Eric Chuang.