Hey everyone! With FrOG week and the Fall Semester fast-approaching, I thought I would share just a few things I wish I knew before my freshman year at JMU that make first-year life a little more simple…
Get Involved- The best way to meet people and find something you love is to branch out and try as many new things that interest you as possible. By going to Student ORG night* you can find out about all these organizations and clubs from the members that participate in them. THe SGA will have it’s own section too so you can find out what positions you can run for. JMU has over 350 organizations including SGA, club sports, Greek life, or the French Club. There is definitely a place for you!
Card Services- Card services (located in Warren) is closed on the weekends which is really unfortunate considering people lose their JAC cards all the time! The best advice would be to never lose your JAC card but come on, it’s bound to happen! If you lose your JAC over the weekend, before contemplating starving without those 4 punches Saturday and Sunday, know that at Ehall and Dhall there are forms to fill out that allow you to punch. It’s basically an honor system verifying that you are, in fact, you! While we are on the subject, memorize your JAC card number, it makes a ton of things easier.
Weather Preparation- Invest in a good pair of rain boots and a decent rain jacket! The ‘Burg’s weather has been known to change just about every ten minutes, one second it will be semi-hurricane weather to so bright and sunny you’ll wonder if you imagined that storm. Also, Harrisonburg is definitely colder than you think (especially at 8ams) so bring plenty of layers and a winter coat, or maybe one of those cool-hipster animal hats people where. Just sayin’.
UREC- James Madison’s University Recreation Center is one of the best facilities on campus. There is literally something for everyone from the Racquetball and basketball courts, rock climbing wall, group fitness classes, track, and lobby for some quiet studying time when the libraries are full. The best little kept secret is the Sauna in the Aquatics Center which is great for thinking and sweating out all gross stuff in your system! Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people go to JMU and have a well-balanced mind!
Libraries- We have two libraries, Carrier and East Campus Library or more popularly known as “ECL.” They will become your best friends next year. Fixed with coffee shops, printers, help desks, and study rooms, the libraries are an incredible way to focus or just get away from roommate stress and lose yourself in schoolwork! Finally, group studying can really help you prepare for exams and you can rent out study rooms online for each library to ensure your study group or GCOM group has an area to prepare!
Hopefully some of these tips help you in your transition from your hometown to your home at JMU. And remember if you never try, you’ll never know!
-Morgan Shaughnessy, Contingency Liaison, @MorganShau
*Check back for dates and times of Student Org Night if you are interested