A Graduating Senior’s Advice to Underclassmen

As the time to walk across that stage quickly approaches, I’ve started to get extremely sentimental about my time here at JMU and all that I’ve experienced and learned. I know you probably see these kinds of articles all the time as graduation season approaches, but bear with me (I promise, you’ll appreciate it one day very soon when you’re feeling the exact same way). So, here are a few pieces of advice from an old, shriveled up graduating senior to those of you who still have the best years ahead of you at this wonderful place we are all lucky enough to have called home.

 

1. Take as many pictures as you can. And I don’t just mean pictures involving going out/drinking. One day you’ll appreciate being able to look back at those little moments that are so precious in college: the sunrise hikes, the dinner dates with friends, the movie nights, and everything in between.

 

 

2. Make it a point to be more present. Everyone loves a good Instagram  (and I’m definitely guilty of being hyper-attached to social media), but what you’ll remember of college will be the people you were with and the times that you had, not the filtered version of reality on your phone screen.

 

3. Say yes more often. This is something I wish I could have been better at during my past four years of college. I know we all have those days where it’s so much easier to stay on the couch and watch Netflix or even just sleep in, but getting out of your comfort zone and waking up early to hike Old Rag or going to that concert for a band that you’ve never even heard of is so much more worth it.

 

 

4. Get to know the Harrisonburg outside of the JMU bubble. Harrisonburg has so much to offer, and it’s only growing. From beer festivals like Rocktown, to countless breweries and restaurants, live music, and even trivia and open mic nights, there is always something to do in this quirky little town.

 

 

5. Stay close with your freshman year friends. Think: campus crawl. But in all seriousness, I was lucky enough to stay close with my dorm friends all through college and even now can call a few of them my best friends/roommates. Even if that’s not your same exact scenario, keeping in touch with your freshman year friends is important, and you’ll appreciate them even more once your time at JMU comes to a close. After all, these were the people you shared an entire awkward and nerve wracking first year of college with, so you owe one another a little bit of gratitude for helping each other get through it.

 

 

6. If you’re not passionate about your major, change it. Unless you’re a second semester senior, there is always time (unless you have an infinite amount of funds and can stay in college forever). Just because you came into college with a specific career goal in mind and have dedicated a few semesters of your time to that one specific major, does not mean you are permanently bound to that path. This is your life, and if college isn’t the time to figure out what you don’t like, then when is?

 

Well guys, this is my last and final post for HerCampus JMU. I’ve been so blessed to be able to write for this awesome website for the past four years--it has truly meant a lot to me to be able to work with such an open-minded and loving group of women and to share my thoughts with the JMU community. Seriously, enjoy your time here, because it goes by way too fast!