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I’ve been a West Virginia University fan since birth. Most of my family is from West Virginia and I’ve known many people that attended WVU. I’ve fallen in love with many members of the football and basketball teams over the year (from a distance). I only ever imagined myself as a West Virginia Mountaineer. However, when it came time to actually apply to schools and go on tours, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I knew I didn’t want to go to community college and I wanted to attend a big school. It was between WVU and JMU, a 3.5 hour drive from compared to a 45 minute one. I toured West Virginia University in the fall of my senior year and didn’t tour James Madison University until April of senior year. I had only applied to those 2 schools and gotten accepted into both. Eventually, I decided to attended James Madison.

Here are just a few of the reasons I am so glad I made that choice:

1. The People

I know it sounds cheesy, but I really believe that JMU has the best people. Everyone is so nice, and I quickly learned that they weren’t joking when they said everyone holds doors open. I have met some of my best friends here, and I can’t imagine how I ever lived without them. I love that there are so many students because I feel like everyone can find their friend group that they click with.

2. UREC

Even with all of the anxiousness of moving in and beginning college, the entire summer I looked forward to working out at UREC. Having such a huge rec center within a five-minute walk has been amazing for me. I’m there at least 4 days a week. Most of my friends that I have now I met through playing pickup volleyball.

3. The Food

When I hear about the dining halls at other colleges, I realize how good we have it here at JMU. There are so many food options that it’s hard to get sick of one single place. UREC rice bowls, E-hall brunch, and Madison Grill have made the Freshman Fifteen pretty unavoidable.

4. Location

At JMU, I’m far enough away from home without being too close. My family and friends can visit me often, and I’m able to go home pretty much whenever I want. I grew up making frequent trips to Harrisonburg (it’s the closest mall to where I’m from), so I’m familiar with the city which helps. It’s a city but not too big of a city, which is perfect for me.

5. The Campus

James Madison’s campus has some of the most beautiful views of any college. Every day I am awestruck by the beauty surrounding me, whether it be sunsets from Festival or a sunny day on the Quad.

As my freshman year at JMU comes to a close, I can truly say that I can’t imagine spending this year of my life at any other school. Every day I am reminded why James Madison is the best school. While it was hard to leave behind most of my WVU apparel (I definitely still brought some), I am so proud to be a purple-wearing JMU Duke.

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