As an East Coast girl and general basic, I’m always going to need the scenery of different seasons to (pumpkin) spice up my Instagram game. Fall and making my Instagram on point are my ways of life. Especially on a campus like ours, there are tons of opportunities for likes everywhere in not–so–hidden places. Here are some tips for elevating your grid this season.

The Quad

Location: You know… (3700 Spruce Street)

Best time of day: Late afternoon is pretty because the sun comes through the huge yellow tree in the lower quad. It's not direct and blocked a little bit by the buildings, so it won't shine in your eyes or cast unflattering shadows on your face.  

Perfect for: Convincing your friends from other schools your dorms are prettier than theirs, even though you only come to the quad for nice pics or booty calls because you’re holed up in your third choice in the lottery: Kings Court English House. Loving the Ivy League architecture, and the fact that you go to an Ivy League school (because aren’t we all still super proud of ourselves?).

Ideas: Lower Quad under the big yellow tree. On those benches near the paths. The Upper Quad balcony. A nice shot with the top of Riepe and some trees.  (“Mansard Roof” by Vampire Weekend plays softly in the background). The big clock at the Upper Quad Gate. 

Inspiration:  @carly@dy_ellie

The Bio Pond

It apparently also exists during the day.

Location: Go past Wawa on 38th and Spruce streets and turn left on Hamilton Walk. Get to Leidy and turn right and there you are. 

Best Time of Day: Morning around 9 a.m. is breathtaking. If you want to go soon, you might need to wait until afternoon because they’re taking a species of invasive turtles out of the pond right now and rehousing them, and there's a bit of construction.

Perfect for:  Pretending you’re not in the city if you miss the mountains and trees of your hometown (I sure do). There are more colors and old trees than other parts of campus.

Ideas: #ootd pics in front of some natural backdrops, and on that little wooden plank path. The reflection of the sun off the water. Candids, or should I say “candids” of your friends in nice outfits—they’ll thank you later. #shoofies (derived from the words “shoes” and “selfie”) with some fallen leaves. It’s 2016, shoes can now be selfies.

Inspiration: @coffeeandmtns@uophiladelphia

A nondescript backyard off campus

Location: Anywhere past 39th Street

Best Time of Day: Evening right before it gets dark. You want to get the glow of a nice fire and have it still be a bit light out. (Try this at home: A fire pit is really easy to make with a couple of logs, some bricks and a metal tub. Light that shit up and you’re good to roast some marshmallows.)

Perfect for: If you’re an upperclassman, show off your own space and don’t leave the house. If you’re a freshman and in someone’s private backyard in the middle of the week, you’re pretty cool already, so good job, put that on Instagram and tag the location so your friends know. 

Ideas: Making s’mores, hand warming over the fire, your friends in low firelight. Your friend’s dog when she starts trying to eat the stems off the pumpkins you used to create ~ambience~.

Inspiration: @sarahkjp@juliahengel

Back to basics:

Coffee Shops 

Location: Starbucks (34th or 39th and Walnut streets, or under Commons), Saxbys (40th and Locust streets), Metropolitan Bakery (40th and Walnut streets), Capogiro (3925 Walnut St.)

Best Time of Day: Before it gets dark. Fluorescent lights are not flattering on anyone's grid. 

Perfect For: If you have no time to do anything but sit at a communal table all day studying with strangers and hating your life, but still want to Instagram. If you really really just have to take that coffee pic… at Saxbys ask for Autumn’s (fitting, yes) signature drink—a white chocolate pumpkin spice latte. At United by Blue get the maple sugar latte. 

Ideas: "Study aesthetic" pictures with your drink, some pencils or highlighters and handwritten notes, so people know you have your life together (do you really, though?), your friends drinking coffee (outside tables work best for this). The biscotti at Saxbys and grilled cheeses at Capo are also very aesthetically pleasing.

Inspiration: @unitedbyblue, @coffeenclothes

Photos by Autumn Powell 


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