Franz Lino/ Photo Editor

Moving back and forth between home and school can feel like being on the receiving end of a light switch, whether it’s your first time making the change, or your fourth. Classes, dorm life and dining hall food make for a rude awakening from the three months of abundant free time we call summer. Here are a few ways to ease the transition.

Decorating your living space to look more like home can speed up the process of feeling comfortable in your new surroundings. A dorm room or off-campus apartment can always benefit from some string lights, throw pillows and DIY projects. A bit of Pinterest surfing and a quick trip to the craft store will help you transform your bare walls into a cozy sanctuary. The more your room reflects who you are, the more content you’ll be there.

If the first day of school still freaks you out, you’re not alone. “Syllabus week” is a myth for a lot of us, as assignments can pile up quickly. Something as simple as wearing your favorite pair of jeans (or shorts, due to unpredictable Binghamton weather) for your first day of classes can put you at ease. Rock your signature clothing item, a statement lipstick or your favorite pair of sneakers – being comfortable in what you’re wearing can give you a nice confidence boost if you’re having first day jitters.

Now that you’re all moved in at Binghamton and classes have started, you’re going to find yourself checking your email every day, and that means receiving B-Line. As tempting as it is to skip over the list of General Interest Meetings (GIMs) and random bits of campus news, B-Line is one of the easiest ways to find clubs and organizations that appeal to you. Fight the urge to collapse on your bed after class and hang out in your dorm all night. Going to a meeting or two, even if you’re unsure about joining the club, is a nice break from schoolwork, and you might even find an organization you’ll want to stick with for the rest of your Binghamton University career. If all of those reasons are insufficient, then at least take advantage of the free pizza.

The first few weeks of the semester is often a rare window of free time before midterms and papers start taking over. Not only that, but the weather is still nice. Go outside! Whether it’s a walk through campus or a hike through the Nature Preserve, getting outdoors can relieve some of the stress you might be feeling at the start of a new semester. Protip: Binghamton’s Nature Preserve is extra beautiful during that short time in late October when the leaves are changing and campus actually resembles the pictures on the website. You’ll thank yourself when you’re breaking out a puffy winter jacket before Thanksgiving break.

Fall semester can be stressful, but the switch into school mode doesn’t have to be hard. Try a few of these tips to pull yourself out of a summer funk and embrace the upcoming school year.