One of my favorite activities growing up was apple picking with my family in Chester, Pa. Since arriving at Connecticut College, I’ve only gone apple picking once, and that was when I went home for a weekend. This year, however, I visited Holmberg Orchards in nearby Gales Ferry, Conn., about 20 minutes from campus.

Four friends and I set out on a Saturday: three of us from the East Coast who have picked apples many times, and one from California who had never visited a fully-functioning orchard. Together, we drove to Holmberg Orchards, and we were not disappointed.

The orchard was bustling with families, college students and young couples on a beautiful fall day. We picked apples and pears for about 30 minutes, eating and taking pictures of the apples, the trees and ourselves.

I picked the most out of my friends, since apples are one of my favorite fruits. When we got back to campus, we piled into the kitchen of my Winchester house and made apple fritters and apple crumble pie. The smells permeating from the kitchen even drew the attention of one of my neighbors, who felt compelled to stop in and see what we were making.

I love the fact that I can continue my childhood traditions while at Conn, and that I’m still able to experience the joys that come when the leaves change color.