If you’re an incoming freshman who is anything like I was, you’ve done your research about JMU. You may have watched YouTube videos, read pamphlets, looked at categorical ratings; but even if you’ve done your homework, some things you just won’t know about until you experience it for yourself. In hopes of clearing up some ambiguity, here’s some insight into JMU from a current freshman:
1. It’s okay if you don’t make a ton of friends in your first week
Orientation isn’t the end all, be all. People put a lot of unnecessary pressure on FROG week and you should understand that the first 5 people you meet don’t have to be your best friends for life. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet people一 in classes, organizations and clubs, sororities or fraternities一 and if you find yourself feeling lonely after the first week, don’t get down on yourself. Making friends isn’t always easy, but it will come; there are amazing people at JMU dying to meet you.
2. Your legs will probably be in a lot of pain for the first couple of weeks
Have you noticed how hilly JMU is?? Going in, I thought I understood. It isn’t until you’ve walked back and forth across campus 500 times during orientation that you really understand. There’s a good chance you’ll contemplate your JMU decision for a little while because of the pain, but don’t worry, the girl next to you is in the same boat and, eventually, you (mostly) get used to it.
3. Go to all of the planned events
You’ll probably hear this a bunch but you only have one Orientation/FROG week. Don’t waste it by staying in and making your room look perfect or going out and partying. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go out, but I will say that you shouldn’t every night or instead of attending events. I made so many fun and interesting memories that week, and I don’t regret leaving my room a little unfinished or missing out on a night I wouldn’t have remembered. Some of the events may seem lame, but you never know, they may surprise you.
4. Take advantage of the free stuff, and there will be free stuff
Nowhere in my research did it say “prepare for 10 free shirts, more phone pocket stickers than you’ll ever need, and a plethora of drawstring bags.” I’m not exaggerating. You will be offered a lot of free stuff, and I recommend taking it all. In your first week of school you might not be totally immersed into the world of a broke college student just yet, but your future self will thank you for the free toothbrush you snagged 3 years ago during FROG week.
5. Understand how lucky you are to be at JMU for the next 4 years
Take it all in. You’re a college student now and you’re attending one of the best schools in the world. The atmosphere is friendly, warm, and inviting, and you get to live it for the next four years. It will fly by; my freshman year is almost over and it feels like move-in was yesterday. You should be involved, find your niche, work hard (& play hard), and find the happiness that awaits you here. I can’t wait for you to find it and join the JMU family. Your four years starts now, make the most of it!
GO DUKES!! :)