Yesterday, we transitioned into what is my favorite season, bar none. Fall is that special time of year when we get to experience full orchards, cloudless blue skies and phenomenal color everywhere we look. I can’t deny that part of my love for fall is the end of the summer heat and getting to wrap up in warm, comfortable clothing, but that’s not the only reason.

Times of transition are notoriously difficult. We dread large changes in our lives and often wish that they’re over as quickly as possible. That’s normal, especially if the end result of the transition period is unknown, but this year I want to recognize the beauty in the process of change.

At least 50 percent of us on campus (if not more) are currently experiencing some sort of transitional period—first-years are adapting to life at college, seniors are figuring out what life after college is going to look like, international students are adapting to life away from familiar languages, food and culture. Everyone is learning and evolving and becoming something different than what they were yesterday.

As fall truly sets in during the next few weeks, we’re going to start seeing changes in the trees and the light that foreshadow winter’s approach, which for many people, including me, is not something to look forward to. However, I can’t bring myself to be upset about the onset of winter, because the transitional period of fall is so beautiful.

I associate fall with thankfulness for bounty and good food, but also with renewed inspiration for work and fondness for friends I haven’t seen over the summer. In the midst of frustration over work and deadlines, I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend my time and energy on education.

My goal is to be able to recognize the same moments of beauty in the transition periods of my life as I do in the changing of seasons.

I’ll only indulge my love for metaphor one last time, I promise—one of my guilty pleasures in fall is watching the campus squirrels bury seeds and nuts all over the grounds, knowing that they probably won’t remember where they put them all. But, because they put the work in, they make it through the winter (and some trees are planted in the process.)

Even though I’m not sure what’s at the end of my transition, I’ll keep on working and planting seeds.