10 Things You Absolutely Need As A Freshman At JMU


Packing for move in day freshman year is definitely overwhelming. You don’t know what to bring or what to keep home. With move in day just around the corner (only a few weeks left people), here is everything I learned, what I wish I knew before, the things I used most, and a Sophomore’s advice to incoming JMU Freshman! These are the 10 things you absolutely need (in no specific order)!

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

1. Phone card holder

I would recommend every incoming freshman get a card holder for your JMU card that you can stick on the back of your phone. You need your JAC card for everything and therefore, you’re not going to want to have to reach for a wallet every time you need to get into your building, buy food, or even when you need to write down your ID while taking a test. You may be able to get a free one during frog week, but I would suggest going on amazon and buying one so you’re not stuck with one that says “JMU Dining Services” all year.

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

2. Venmo

Download this app before frog week. It’s an easy and secure way to quickly pay people and everyone uses it.

3. Umbrella

It rains, a lot. Come prepared with a good umbrella and not a cheap one that could easily break from the wind, which also happens a lot.

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

4. Fans

No matter what dorm you’re living in, you’re going to need at least one fan. Now if you’re living in the Village, BUY AS MANY FANS AS YOU CAN. My roommate and I ended up having five fans throughout our room and we still would wake up covered in sweat. It gets hot. My favorite fans are the really big box ones; they aren’t cute, but you won’t be able to be in your dorm without them.

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!   10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

5. EmergenC

I owe my entire first year to raspberry EmergenC. Although there’s no escaping getting sick while at college, having something like EmergenC or Airborne helps shorten your illness and gives you the vitamins you need to feel better quicker. I may have even used EmergenC as a chaser a few times, because you got to do what you got to do. The orange flavor is good, but my favorite is the raspberry one because it reminds me of sorbet. Pro tip: the less water you put in it the better it tastes!

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

6. Medicine

Again, there’s no way to completely avoid getting sick in college, so better to be prepared beforehand. As someone who was sick for their entire second semester of Freshman year, and no I’m not over exaggerating, I would recommend bringing Tylenol fever, DayQuil and NightQuil, cough syrup, and Mucinex (trust me you’re going to want these last two for when you get the mysterious JMU cough that lasts for an entire month).

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!  10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

7. Long phone charger

If you’re lofting your bed, or even if you aren’t, you never know how far away an outlet is going to be from your bed. Extension cords aren’t allowed, so it would be a good idea to get either a 6 or 10ft long phone charger.

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

8. Heavy winter gear

Now you won’t need these for a few months, but heavy winter gear, and I mean heavy, are an absolute necessity for surviving Harrisonburg during the winter months. I would suggest a knee length puffy jacket, gloves, hats, and scarves. I know you may think it looks stupid, but honestly no one cares, and you’re going to thank me when its below freezing and you have to walk all the way across campus to class.

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

9. Vacuum, Swiffer and cleaning supplies

The amount of dust that collects in your room is disgusting, especially if you’re a girl who sheds their hair a lot. Get ready for all the cleaning you’re going to have to do. Also, if you are bringing a carpet for your dorm or your common room, I would suggest bringing one that isn’t very fluffy and will be easy to clean. The small hand held vacuums don’t have a lot of suction power, so just beware of that before buying that super cute white fluffy carpet. By the end of the first semester it isn’t going to be very cute, and it’s definitely not going to be white.

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

10. Eye mask

Hi, welcome to college. Get ready for all the naps you’re going to take in order to get through the year. I never used one of these things before coming to JMU, and I never thought I would need one. But an eye mask may be the most underrated item on this list. Scratch what I said before, I owe my first year of college to EmergenC AND my sleeping mask. Use it when your roommate has an 8 am, if the train wakes you up really early in the morning(which is going to happen), or to block out the sun during your middle of the day power nap. They’re really cheap, and so worth it.

10 things you absolutely need for freshman year at JMU!

Do you know of any other items freshman at JMU absolutely need!? Share in the comments below!

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