It can be hard to jump right into the school year. It takes a couple of weeks to get adjusted to the rhythm of a new semester, balancing classes with work and social events. Often, this leaves me having missed a lot of events, games or other activities that have already happened. 

The fall semester in particular is always front-loaded with a lot of the university’s coolest events. As a senior, I’ve had enough time to attend a variety of events at the start of the fall, and I’ve compiled a list of things you should do to start your semester with a bang.

1. Visit the First Look Fair

The First Look Fair is the chance to visit hundreds of clubs at the University of Maryland, all within a five-hour time slot. Take a stroll along the table-lined paths on McKeldin Mall Sept. 8 to visit sports, academic, cultural, service and religious clubs. Before attending the event, make sure to check out the list of all university-registered clubs at TerpLink to get an idea of what you’d like to keep an eye out for at the fair. Pro-tip: Show up as early as possible to snag free merch given out by clubs and local businesses.

Event details: Thursday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

2. Attend the Silent Disc-Glo at the NextNOW Fest

The NextNOW Fest is an arts festival hosted at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center every September that features workshops, performances, interactive experiences and more. The last and most fun event of the festival is a Silent Disc-Glo, which will be on Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. Grab a pair of headphones and dance your heart out in the Clarice Courtyard, where multiple DJs — including a Terrapin Record Label DJ — link to different channels on your headset to give you multiple listening options. Other noteworthy events at the festival include an indoor skate park, a performance by comedian Ziwe, a bar where you can purchase hand-crafted mocktails and a costume sale

Event details: The NextNOW Fest is Sept. 6 through Sept. 10. The Silent Dis-Glo is Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

[Songbyrd Music House hosts WMUC’s first music festival]

3. Go to a soccer game

Although football games are an essential part of any fall semester at the university, soccer games also have an unequivocal fall feeling to them, and they are also very fun to attend. Catch the men’s soccer team Friday as they play Denver on Ludwig Field at 7:30 p.m. And if you’re a big fan of the game, consider joining the team’s official fan group — The Crew — to participate in spirit.

Event details: Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Ludwig Field

4. Watch a movie at the Hoff Theater in Stamp Student Union

Student Entertainment Events organizes a movie series every semester that is shown in Hoff Theater in Stamp  periodically throughout the term. This semester, the selection ranges from Everything Everywhere All at Once and Jurassic World Dominion to Doctor Strange 2 and Minions: Rise of Gru. Check the schedule to see when each movie is being shown.

Event details: Movies shown periodically throughout the semester. See the schedule here.

[What do Taylor Swift and ‘Midnights’ mean for the world of music?]

5. Go to a paint night at Studio A

When you enter Studio A, located in the ground floor of Stamp, you’ll notice the peaceful, friendly aura right away. They host a variety of events throughout the semester, leaving you with cute art to decorate your dorm, fun craft ideas that might turn into hobbies and a relaxing time. 

Event details: Catch the next paint night on Sept.15 at Studio A. Drop in anytime from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.