Illustration o f a woman in a coat and red scarf in front of a brown cityscape and orange and red tress, with a blue sky above them.
Design by Emily Schwartz.

Fall is my favorite season. As the leaves change color from their forest greens to their sunshine yellows, I smile. In the morning when I walk to my classes, I watch carefully as the leaves fall down and nestle between blades of dewy grass. I feel cozy and warm as I wrap my scarf around my neck and inhale the brisk fall air. Venturing around campus throughout the day, from lecture to lecture, lunch to dinner, I notice speckles of beauty chime in, reminding me of some of my favorite television series. I hope that sharing some of my sprinkles of real-life television moments inspires you to notice your own. 

Rays of Sunshine 

As I rise in my groggy morning state, I slide out of bed, slip on my L.L. Bean slippers, and begin my day. Walking through the Diag not too long after sunrise, I frolic through striking rays of sunshine that kiss golden-soaked leaves. I walk through them with admiration, not forgetting to look up and track which leaves have flourished into their fall colors. While I bask in these sunbeams, I grip my backpack on my shoulders in eager anticipation of my first class of the day. This picturesque series of events reminds me of fall-favorite TV series, “Gilmore Girls.” Just like Rory (Alexis Bledel, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) walking the sidewalks of Yale in season four, I walk through the University of Michigan campus with a giddy energy for school and the weather.

I watched “Gilmore Girls” in my teenage years, and after watching the Yale seasons, I couldn’t wait to go to college. Rory seemed so mature and had her life all planned out. I wanted that. I wanted fun flings and fleeting, giggly glances at boys. While not all of Rory’s fairytale, drama-filled college life panned out for me, I have had some typical “Rory Gilmore moments” on campus. Acknowledging these moments makes the day more exciting and romantic, whether your moment is found in your autumn outfit or the person you’re canoodling with. I have that moment when I walk through rays of sunshine on beautiful autumn mornings. 

Just as nature piques my adoration of the little things in life, so does my bedroom. Before I moved into my new house for my junior year of college, I spent months thinking about how I wanted to decorate it. I even went so far as to personally re-do multiple furniture pieces to my liking, down to choosing individual knobs on my dresser. I collected art from my favorite thrift stores, dishes and coasters from vacations, plants from the Farmers Market and so on. I know that sounds a little extreme, but my room is where I find joy every day. And so, I give you my happy place within my home: 

A Hidden Gem 

My house was built in the late 1800s, and my bedroom sits on the top floor. I have one window that opens to a large tree covered in thick green leaves. Behind the window are some overgrown plants, hanging lavender, a poster showcasing a black cat, butterflies catching the sun in hanging glass and a shadeless pink lamp emitting a warm yellow light. I have candlesticks sitting in etched brass candle holders and a salt lamp that emits a mellow, romantic light. My green bookshelf holds my collection of dainty books, magnets, plants, watering cans, flowery china dishes and mugs. Sitting in the back corner of my room, I have an orange chair speckled with roses and sunflowers standing on decorated wooden posts. My floor is covered in different patterned rugs, and my desk sits strong on a dark oak base. To add icing to the eclectic cake, the floors are uneven and creaky. I absolutely love it.

My room reminds me of the 2021 series “The Larkins,” set in 1950s England’s Kent Countryside. Sixty years after my house was built, it still has elements that I’m reminded of in my bedroom. The Larkin family lives in a large farmhouse tucked in rolling hills of lush green grass. Perfectly trimmed bushes and unashamed weeds stare at the front of the brick home. The house’s interior is decorated in true cottage-core fashion: The walls are plastered with beautiful, patterned wallpaper, the kitchen filled with yellowed shelves and the living room embellished with billowing chairs and pillows. In my bedroom, I tried to mimic that cottage-core style with hints of regality from the era in which my house originally stood. I incorporated the greens, yellows and reds that look so proud in “The Larkins.” The chair sitting in the corner of my room, the living ivy that drapes down my bookshelf and the dark wood on my desk and dresser all recall the Larkin home. Part of me hopes that my house’s original owners could walk into my room and feel as if no time has passed from when they filled the walls with their love. 

There are many other things in this world that I constantly compare to the media at large. I often think of books like “Jane Eyre” when I walk through the Old Fourth Ward in Ann Arbor and picture the writers, statisticians and people who lived there when it was first built. When I see couples wading through campus in the fall and winter, I think of every rom-com I’ve ever watched. As I travel to states and countries elsewhere, this habit travels with me. When I visited England this summer, I was fortunate enough to see the moors and the Cotswolds, while reminiscing on “Outlander” and the “Agatha Raisin” book and television series.

I love living my life lost in these whimsical thoughts, dreaming lustfully of a story to attach to all I am witnessing. You don’t have to do the same as I do, but I will tell you, it’s a pleasure. 

Daily Arts Writer Eliza Shearing can be reached at