Being accepted into college is such an exciting time! Especially at a University, where you will experience new adventures, friends, and opportunities! However, there’s some needed tips for freshman at James Madison University that you should know before entering college. Trust me, these tips will save you a lot of hassle!
1. Talk to the people that live on your hall.
Keep in mind that everyone on your hall is new to this experience as well. Don’t be afraid to walk down your hall and introduce yourself to people. Making friends in your hall is one of the best tips for freshman at James Madison University because it will make your dorm feel more like home. But don’t worry, you will do enough ice breakers during FROG week you will basically be family anyway.
2. Get a planner and write things down.
My planner is my lifeline. Anytime you get a new assignment write it down in your planner right then. Also write down any meetings you have as well to make sure you never miss anything. I also found it helpful to make lists of everything I need to get done that day/week.
3. Take advantage of the buses, even though it can be confusing.
I lived on east campus freshman year and literally took the bus everywhere. The ICS (Inner Campus Shuttle) will be your lifeline to get from east campus to main. Sometimes you will have to channel your inner boxer to get to the front of the line, but it is worth it. This is one of the best tips for freshman at James Madison University!
4. Walk your classes before the first day.
I found it super helpful to find all my classrooms before the first day of classes. Make sure you know where all your classrooms are and if you have enough time to get from class to class. This will decrease stress on the first day of classes.
5. Don’t wear uncomfortable clothes to class.
I promise that nobody cares what you look like. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and that make you comfortable. You are going to have long days and you aren’t going to want to be in jeans and uncomfortable shoes.
6. Try to use all your punches each week.
I highly recommend starting out with 14 punches per week. That way you get lunch and dinner everyday and don’t have to worry about waking up early to go eat breakfast. You can also punch for snacks and drinks at festi if you have extra.
7. Wait to buy your textbooks.
I would recommend waiting until the first day of classes until buying textbooks. Make sure the professor says you need the textbook. I also recommend checking Amazon before buying textbooks from the bookstore. It is a good way to save money!
8. Sign up for Group Ex classes at UREC.
Going to the gym can be a good way to relieve stress and take breaks from homework. Group Ex classes are a great way to get involved. They are totally easy to sign up for and a great way to meet new people.
9. Do your assignments before they are due.
Staying ahead of your assignments will keep your stress level to a minimum. If you find yourself with some free time, get started on an assignment that might be due the next week. If you get too behind assignments will start pilling up and you will miss something.
10. Prepare to walk up and down stairs.
You are going to want to avoid the ISAT steps and the Godwin steps at all costs, but odds are you will come across them at some point so you better be ready. This is another reason why you are going to want to wear comfortable clothes. We may go to school in the hilliest place, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.
11. Go see your professors during office hours.
You may think it is a waste of time, but it is great to go and let your professor see that you care. Plus, it is also the perfect time to get your questions answered and get extra help on something you may not understand.
12. Don’t be worried if your first exam doesn’t go so well.
Some people have never had to study hard for exams, however this will change in college. If your first exam doesn’t go so well, don’t get stressed. You just need to find a way to study that works for you. It happens to everyone.
13. Check out all the clubs and organizations.
Joining a club or organization is the perfect way to meet new people and get involved. There are over 400 clubs at JMU so you are guaranteed to find the perfect one for you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
14. Your mailbox will be nearly impossible to open.
Every on-campus student gets assigned a mailbox in Madison Union where friends and family can send their mail. However, you are going to want to practice your combo multiple times or find a friend that has perfected getting mailboxes open because it will be almost impossible.
15. Bring. Rain. Boots.
It doesn’t just rain at JMU, it floods. You are going to have to walk through multiple puddles so bring good boots and a good umbrella.
16. Take some time to clean your room.
Set aside time one day a week for maybe 30 minutes to an hour to clean your dorm room. It can get messy with the stress of homework during the week and cleaning it can make you feel much better. It will make you feel organized and like you’ve accomplished something. Living in a clean environment will help your overall mental and physical health. This is one of the best tips for freshman at James Madison University.
17. Try not to leave JMU.
Take the first five-six weekends and stay on campus. This will allow to adjust to the environment better and meet people. If you are constantly leaving, you will never adjust and it will be harder in the long run. In the fall, use Saturday’s to go to the football games!
18. You can using Dining Dollars at different locations.
Take advantage of your dining dollars. You can use dining dollars at any of the normal locations and Subway in Grace Street Apartments, Chick-Fil-A, and Auntie Anne’s in TDU!! Don’t waste your dining dollars, use them on nuggets and milkshakes.
19. Find a quiet place to study.
Libraries fill up quickly during finals week so make sure you have your spot secured. I have never been a big fan of libraries so I prefer finding a quiet place in the top of Madison Union or ISAT to study. Study rooms in your dorms are also nice and you should take advantage of those.
20. Talk to your advisers.
You’re assigned advisers are a great resource and one of the best tips for Freshman at James Madison University! They can be a great help when you are trying to decide what classes to take or what classes you need to graduate. Even if you just need to talk and get stress out they are there to help you, so take advantage!