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My Senior Year Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? What about a bucket list focused on college? If you don’t already, I would highly recommend it. As a senior, I’ve been reflecting on my past several years here at JMU, and thinking about what I wish I did and what I can still do in my final chapter.

Bucket lists are not only fun, but also they help you put yourself out there and experience things you may have never thought of before. Most students already know the general “JMU Bucket List” or “Graduation Checklist” items: streak the Quad, go through the underground tunnels, take a picture with the James Madison Statue, swim in Newman Lake, submit a pat or dart to The Breeze, etc. Here are some other items that will also make your Madison Experience worthwhile.

1. Explore off-campus

Yes, we have a beautiful campus, but believe it or not there are other areas where you can hang out with fellow Dukes off campus. Makes sure you go downtown and eat at the local dives such as Jack Brown’s, Dave’s, and Billy Jack’s. Their food is worth trying and the locations are eccentric. Taking a trip to Blue Hole and/or Reddish Knob feature beautiful sceneries and are perfect for weekend trips.

2. Get involved
 Make sure you sign up for any activities that interest you. It never hurts to try something new and put yourself out there. JMU offers a vast number of organizations to be a part of, and all of them appeal to different wants and needs of students. It’s a great way to meet new people and become a leader. Depending on how involved you become, you may even land yourself a job right out of college just because of your experience level. You’ll regret not getting involved and meeting so many wonderful people. You may even find your home away from home.

3. Attend sporting events

JMU has a number of sporting events to attend. While you’re here, you have to go to at least one home football game. The atmosphere in Bridgeforth Stadium is unlike any other. Throwing purple and gold streamers during every touchdown, a sea of purple shirts in the crowd, the excitement of the crowd…it’s an honor to be a part of such an experience. If you go to a basketball game, the atmosphere is not exactly like football, but still spirited. You won’t always get the chance to wear purple everywhere you go, and these sporting events let your pride show.

4. Enjoy your classes and study abroad
College is not like high school. You have a variety of different classes to choose from. Pick a class that interests you and that you’ll enjoy. College is supposed to be fun and exciting. JMU also offers many opportunities to study abroad. Everyone I know or have talked to who did it loved their experience abroad and if there is one thing I regret, it’s my choice of not studying abroad.

5. Make new friends
If you’re coming in as a freshman, or if you still hang out with your group of high school friends, that’s fine, but don’t be afraid to branch out. There are about 20,000 students on this campus; I can guarantee you’ll meet someone new that you click with. I became friends with people in my hall, in my classes, in my organizations and through other friends I have made at JMU. I can tell you now that I’ve met my best friends here and my bridesmaids. You’ll be surprised how many people you can meet and how many incredible friendships you can build. So if you don’t think you’ve lived the Madison Experience, it’s not too late to start now. Maybe next year you can look back and say you’ve been one of the lucky people to live the Madison Experience, thanks to your own JMU bucket list.

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