Moving into a residential community for the first time can be a big adjustment. It can be hard to reach out to neighbors, get involved on campus and make friends — especially on top of adjusting to a new environment and demanding classes.

However, residential life at Binghamton University offers a multitude of resources and opportunities to connect with others in your living community if you wish to do so. From the tight-knit suites of College-in-the-Woods to the classic corridor-style doubles of Newing College, here are seven ways that you can make the most out of your living community this year.

Attend Residential Life events for your community

Living communities at BU have their own yearly traditions that make each one special in its own right. Mountainview College hosts biweekly Mountainview Jams, which bring students together at the amphitheater in the warmer months and in the Appalachian Dining Center during the winter. Every fall, Hinman College holds its own “Dorm Wars” — a competition among the Hinman College buildings involving outdoor recreational contests. Participating in your community’s traditions and events hosted by residential staff can make you feel more at home in your dorm.

Host gatherings with roommates and neighbors

If you’re living in a suite or flat, making the most out of your residential experience can involve getting to know your roommates. The same applies to corridor-style housing — hanging out with your roommate and reaching out to neighbors can help build a sense of community within your building, and might come with some friendships along the way. Hosting gatherings with food like pizza and snacks will draw some neighbors your way.

Create a community whiteboard

You may not become best friends with all your neighbors, but you can still get to know them. Consider attaching a community whiteboard to your door and writing goofy questions for your neighbors to answer. You’ll get a lot of entertainment out of it and learn about their personalities in the process.

Keep your Community Assistants and Student Support Assistants in mind as a resource

During the highs and lows of college life, you should keep your Residential Life staff in mind for any help you may need. This may include discussing conflicts with roommates or neighbors, struggles adjusting to college and personal hardships. You can also take advantage of Residential Life for general advice and mentoring — your CAs and SSAs are generally older, with more experience under their belt. They can help you navigate the college process and connect you with campus resources.

Take advantage of green spaces

Before the Binghamton cold sets in, consider taking advantage of the green spaces around your residence hall. BU living communities have quads, volleyball courts, basketball courts and seating areas for studying and recreation. Getting outside will lift your spirits and give you sunshine to fuel your studying.

Utilize study lounges

Study lounges in BU’s residence halls are great spaces for group study sessions. Take advantage of the provided whiteboards and markers for working out math problems, illustrating concepts in chemistry and writing down terms and definitions. Studying together with others will not only help your understanding of exam concepts — it may bolster your friendships too.

Join Residential Life Co-Rec

In addition to event programming, Residential Life also holds Co-Rec every year. Joining Co-Rec offers an opportunity to bond with other residential students through activities like flag football, tug of war and basketball.

Your residential hall can be more than just a place to rest your head at night. If you are looking to feel more at home in your dorm, getting involved with Residential Life activities can be a great place to start — no matter whether you are in your first semester of college or your last.