Looking back at my freshman year I would’ve never imagined that I would end my college years during a pandemic. This has made me reflect back on the last four years and has resulted in an emotional couple of weeks. Although things have ended differently than what I would have liked it to, I will forever be grateful to James Madison University for all of the memories and friendships that I have made in the place I called home.
I came into JMU as a terrified and painfully shy freshman. Coming from out of state, my best friend was the only person that I knew at JMU. This made for some definite homesick moments during the first few weeks of freshman year. Soon enough I made some friends in my hall. Friends that have stuck with me for all 4 years. I joined InterVaristy which completely changed the way I practiced my faith. It gave me a new perspective and a group of girls that I could lean on in my toughest moments.
As sophomore year came around, I started to leave my shell a bit more. If there’s one thing that college taught me, it’s that you are going to you’re going to have to put yourself out there whether you want to or not. As I started to learn more about myself and figure myself out a bit more, I started to feel more confident in my own skin. I had more friends and a community of people that let me express my ideas and have intellectual and dumb discussions at the same time. I will always remember the delirious 2 a.m conversations in the study room in Shenandoah hall. I was glad that I decided to stay on campus during my sophomore year.
Junior year was when I joined Her Campus, this organization gave me voice to write about serious topics and more lighthearted ones. It allowed me to meet new people but also share my articles with my friends who were always supportive and encouraging. Junior year was also when I first moved into my apartment. This gave me a whole new perspective on college life. It gave me a different type of freedom. From movie nights to staying up late talking about our futures and boys and everything in between, these are some of the things I miss the most. Social distancing has definitely made me appreciate the little things I might have taken for granted.
Senior year was probably the time I had to step out of my comfort zone the most. I wanted to make the most out of my last year at college. Although I didn’t get to do everything I wanted to do, I have my memories at Ruby’s lounge and Backcountry. I have my memories of staying out late just hanging out with friends and enjoying life without real adult responsibilities. I’ll miss those late nights and the nights when it was just my roommate and I staying up late binging shows and watching movies with a glass of wine. The nights when my roommate and I would make Tik Toks before going out for the night. I’ll even miss fighting with our noisy downstairs neighbors and driving up sketchy mountain roads trying to make it up before sunrise just to only be able to see fog.
I’ve grown a lot in my 4 years at JMU. I’ve always wanted to write articles about things that mattered to me and have something that I could search up and look back on. Her Campus and The Breeze gave that to me. JMU gave me new experiences and life-long friends. Covid-19 taught me to not take things for granted. If there’s some bit of advice I would give to incoming freshmen, it’s to not be scared to put yourselves out there. It’s so worth it in the long run. I would also say that although it seems like you have all the time in the world, time goes by so fast. Make plans with friends and keep those plans, College is so much more than getting your education. It’s about the people you meet, the friendships you make, the organizations you choose to be apart of, and the school spirit at games. I slowly let school take over my life a bit but I wish I would’ve put more effort into my social life as well because you don’t when that’s going to be taken away from you.
Being a part of the class of 2020, we’ve been through a lot but I am so glad I chose to go to JMU and I know anyone who goes there feels the same. I can honestly say that it’s been the best 4 years of my life so far and I will truly miss my time at the place I’ve called home for the last 4 years. I will always bleed purple and gold.