Many people (myself included) see the end of summer as a bad thing. School starts up again, the weather begins to get cooler and darker, the flowers die away, and swimsuits and tank tops get pushed to the back of drawers. This can be saddening for any summer-lover, but you have to appreciate all of the different seasons in order to look forward to the changes ahead. It’s not just the end of summer, it’s the beginning of fall, and fall has numerous great aspects to it as well.

Fall is a beautiful season. Just look around. The first official day of fall was September 21st, and the leaves are already starting to change colors—from greens to bright reds and oranges and yellows. The beauty can really be seen, especially for those who live near mountains and valleys with lots of foliage, like me. Next time you hear that crisp crunch of a leaf beneath your foot, remember how important and pretty nature can be.

With fall also comes many great sports being in season. For football fans, there’s nothing like spending an afternoon cheering on your college’s team, or spending a Sunday night yelling at the TV with your friends while devouring some pizza and wings. It’s also prime time for soccer, and I find soccer games to be even more exciting to watch than football. Although many people may not find it very fun to watch, it’s also cross country season. Running deserves much more recognition than it gets—it’s a tough, yet thrilling sport (I might be a little bit biased). Other fun fall sports to go out and support are volleyball, golf, and field hockey.

Another great thing about fall is that it means that Halloween is just around the corner. What’s there not to like? It brings lots of candy, fun decorations, haunted houses, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, scary movies, cool costumes, and pumpkin-flavored everything. Have fun with it any way you choose.

Even though summer is ending, a new, great season is beginning. Find enjoyment in the changing seasons. There are so many fun opportunities that come with autumn, so take advantage of some of them (and eat all the candy corn while you can).