1787 August Orientation, a.k.a. FROG Week, is probably the most fun, stressful, and informative week you will ever experience at JMU. FROG week occurs during your freshman year at James Madison University, and it is the week before classes start. You’ll move in the Tuesday or Wednesday before classes (which start on a Monday), then FROG Week will extend until Sunday. You will meet so many new people, partake in activities and events, and even take a test. (Boo!!!!) If you would like to know more, please keep reading for a list of things to expect for those six days during JMU’s FROG Week!
It’s gonna be hot.
The end of August in Virginia will most often be quite hot. Odds are, your move-in day will be the hottest out of all the days during FROG week, too! If you’re in a building without air conditioning, make sure you bring a fan because you’ll definitely need it. Also make sure you pack cold water to have to drink!
The days will be long.
Usually the days start around 9:30, and the mandatory events usually end around six. There are sometimes breaks in between certain events, but expect to stick around with your FROG group for most of the week.
Your Mappy is your life.
You’ll get your Mappy when everyone has moved in. It has all the events and activities for the week, both mandatory and optional. You HAVE to keep up with it to see where certain events are held and what time they are going to be. It also has a map of campus on it, so it is a very valuable resource!
You’re going to take your first (assessment) test.
Let the cheers ring out! We all love taking tests, right? The JMU assessment test is not taken for a “grade,” thankfully. It is important though. The test is on certain topics that are covered in the Gen Ed curriculum. The University will save your initial test score, and then when you take the test again during your Junior year, your scores will be compared. They use this test to see how well the Gen Ed system is doing. So don’t stress over it too much. The good news is that when upperclassmen take their tests in the Spring, all classes before 4 PM are cancelled!
There will be fun events you might as well try out.
There are some fun things to do during FROG week. Some previous events that were held are an ice cream social, a magician, a hypnotist, a comedian, late night breakfast, and so on. These are not required to go to. They are just events held at night to try and ease some of the stress of the week!
The notorious FROG dance is always something fun to watch.
If you don’t know what this is, look up a previous year’s dance on YouTube. The FROGs and OPAs coordinate a dance to a mash-up of different songs. It really is fun to watch after listening to some important information.
Homesickness will surely start to kick in.
Of course, everyone is different. FROG week is usually busy enough to where it’s not too big of a deal, but towards the end of the week, it may set in that you’re really at college. It can definitely be hard to be away from your parents, boyfriend/girlfriend, pets, and grandparents, but just make sure to give them a call if you’re missing them. Just being able to hear their voice and any encouraging words they have to say will make things a lot better. Also, go to your RA if you’re feeling lonely! That’s not only their job, but they would love to help you make sure your time at JMU is as fun and happy as possible.
You will get to know and meet so many new people.
Your FROG group will consist of all the people who are under your RA. This means you will be in the same group as your roommate, suite mates (if you live in a suite style dorm), and hall mates. Make sure you branch out and talk to them because they are the people you’ll be living with for the next year!
You’ll play so many ice breaker games, just go with it.
Be prepared to answer questions like “What’s one unique thing about you?” or “What’s your favorite color?” FROGs don’t make you play these games to torture you. You have to go through playing these games so you can try to get to know all the people who you are going to be living around. If you can find common talking points, it will make conversation a whole lot easier after FROG week ends.
Where you eat everyday may be the same.
I know with my FROG group, we ate at PC Dukes all the time during orientation week. This is mainly due to the fact that many other dining facilities aren’t open during FROG week. Sometimes you may get lucky and be able to eat at a new food venue, but just be prepared to eat at the same two places that week.
Expect to feel overwhelmed (but know it’s okay).
There will be so much information thrown at you during this orientation. Your days will be long, you’ll be low on sleep, and you’ll be away from home. It may seem like everything is just piling up on you, but just make sure to take a step back and relax. If you’re feeling like it’s too much, ask your roommate if they’ll walk with you to get some fresh air. Know that things will get better once classes start, and that the overwhelming feeling isn’t permanent. Reach out for comfort if you need it, don’t try and deal with it all by yourself.