10 Things That Will 100 Percent Happen To You At James Madison University


If you are a student at the lovely James Madison University there are some days when you will simply stop in your tracks and ask yourself “Okay….is it just me or is this really f***king happening…” Believe it or not you are not alone! Here are some things that will happen to you at James Madison University throughout your average school day.

This is a collaborative piece by: Tracy Wilmerstein and Courtney Franks

1. You will see about 423,692,849 students crammed onto one JMU bus.

It is the end of the day, you finally get out of class, and you’re just trying to get on a bus instead of going on a pilgrimage across campus. Finally, in the horizon a beautiful purple and white JMU bus comes towards you. Yes your time has come. You are the chosen one. The bus finally pulls up to you and…and….Jesus Christ it like the population of California has been shoved in there. People’s faces are pressed against the window, limbs sticking out, sometimes the bus driver opens the door as a sick joke to invite you into that vortex. And you’re just going to stare blankly and watch it drive away and feel like a damn peasant.

2. The Quad is going to smell like dog food when it rains.

Yup. It may sound weird but it seriously smells like a god damn bag of meow mix when it rains. You walk out of class onto the quad, raincoat on, soaking wet, already hating life, and then all of the sudden a wave hits you. You instantly think to yourself, “…. alright…it seriously smells like dog food out here…what is going on…?” I’m telling you it’s a 100% guarantee.

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3. You will run out of dining dollars.

Yeah okay we get it some of you assholes “budget” and can buy the entire inventory of PODS Market at the end of the semester…yeah great CONGRATS…you Jordan Belfort fuck. And some of you have dining gold because your parents love you. THEN there’s the rest of us that think buying a $5 naked juice, $10 venti frappuccino, and $12 granola bar is a good deal… and then half way through the semester we are poor little bastards that gather 75 cents to buy those creepy ass orange peanut butter crackers from the vending machine that everyone secretly likes.

4. You will question your life going up the Godwin stairs.

It’s the end of a football game, you get off the bus, you just left the bookstore, etc. And you have five minuets and have to get to the quad quick…you have no choice…but to take the Godwin stairs. This is pretty much equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. Your thought process during the journey up the stairs will basically be this: “Okay I can do this I’ve been going to the gym…holy hell my thighs are kind of burning…man my upper lip is really sweaty…okay what kind of sick joke is this …FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHEN DOES THIS END…” Then from an angle facing down the stairs one hand grasps the final step…congrats you are now an American ninja warrior.

5. Parking your car on campus is gonna SUCK.

It is a freakin discovery channel piece trying to find a spot. It’s like every person trying to park their car is a damn lion and you’re all hunting your prey (AKA a parking spot) by zooming around the parking lot sniffing for a spot. This shit gets violent I’m telling you. And then you get to a level of desperation where you literally stalk people to their spot. And maybe just maybe you will get a parking space, which basically feels like getting a golden ticket to the chocolate factory.

6. You are going to see a cop in Forest.

Oh forest, how we love the drunken times you have provided us that we most likely can’t remember entirely because we were so god damn hammered. And then…there is the fuzz, the 5-0, the boys in blue, whatever you want to call them. They are going to be doing their thing scoping out the scene in forest and then…there is your drunken self. And all you think is “oh fuck oh fuck I gotta act sober for a hot sec.” You proceed to walk by the cops concentrating so hard while your tail is in-between your legs. Some of us don’t make it out alive, there are casualties, but it is a fact that you will see the Po-Po in forest and have a minor heart attack.

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7. You are going to have to make it across campus in under 5 minutes.

Whether you are late to class, forgot you’re meeting with your study group, or whatever reason it is, you will have no choice but to sprint across campus. You basically transform into Usain Bolt and book it…and you feel like a total idiot. But I mean whatever it takes to get that damn good grade for that GenEd ammirite?

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8. You’ll see someone with a SEVERE hickey on their neck.

Congrats you got some action wahoo!! And now there is a hematoma on your jugular…. and honestly many of us have all been there… god damn you drunken decisions.

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9. You will witness the one they call “Unicycle man.”

Imagine seeing a unicorn. But that unicorn is a man on a bright green unicycle. Everyone has the same response “oh shit that…that guys on a unicycle!” It is pretty exciting stuff and if you don’t think so then go ride a freakin unicycle up hill and get back to me.

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10. You will hear the MRDs practicing in the stadium for centuries.

Those poor talented bastards. The day basically goes like this…

9am: “Aw that’s nice they’re practicing, man I feel the school spirit!”

4pm: “wow they must have a big game or something coming up its been a long freaking practice”

11pm: “Maybe the stadium is like playing an MRD soundtrack on the speaker or something?”

3:32am: “Holy fucking shit…I…but…HOW THE FUCK ARE THEY STILL PRACTICING?”

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11. Lose your breath and cry every time you go up the hill by Madison Union.

Every freshman is going to have a class on the quad, and if you live on the quad freshman year, there is a very high chance that you will have a class in Godwin, Showker, ISAT, etc. This means that it is inevitable for you not to face the steady inclination that is the hill leading up to the quad. Don’t even bother going to the gym after having climbed this treacherous hill… you won’t need it.

12.Forget your lock combination for your mailbox/not know how to open your mailbox.

Every freshman goes to Madison Union for the first time with a huge group of people or make the rookie mistake and go alone. More than half of freshman won’t be able to open your locker the first time you try. Lines start forming right near your locker, and it is as if everyone is watching you fail in your attempts to open your locker to attain your package receipt so you can claim your first care package from home. I know this because it happened to me. It sucks and is so embarrassing after the 4th try lol, so just ask someone to help you, or one of your friends who is really good at it.

13. Gain 15 pounds (not actually, well maybe).

Living near DHub, I have to say, I have not struggled with the freshman 15, just because on some days there are limited options when you go there. However, if I were to live right near SSC or EHall, I would probably have gained more weight these past two semesters. Gaining weight happens ya know, but it is okay because our UREC center is beautiful and that will motivate you to get to the gym and work off those nugz you had at EHall hours before. Plus, as I mentioned before, you even have the hill that leads to the quad to burn off some cals.

14. Be late to class because of the train.

Right when you hear that train “Cho, Cho,” it’s all over. Although this has yet to happen to me, it has happened to all of my friends. While walking back from class I constantly see the herd of people who are forced to wait for the never ending train to pass so they can make it to class. It is extremely funny to watch when you are not the one that is being affected by it, but devastating when you are.

15. Uber everywhere for the first few months (or the entire year)

Before you meet any older kids, or even if you don’t, you will be ubering everywhere you go. To parties, sometimes to Walmart if you don’t feel like taking the bus (which makes the trip that would be 25 minutes into a 2 hour extravaganza), and even to dinner whenever your friend has a birthday or if you just feel like eating off campus for once. It is 100% a freshman move to Uber to Walmart, but you know just embrace it because you won’t be doing it ever again.

MY BANK ACCOUNT :’)

16. Fall in love with game days.

The first game of the season is amazing. It’s hot out, the tailgates are huge (because everyone decides to come), and everyone is extremely hyped up for the start of the school year, the fact that classes aren’t hard yet, and for the start of the season!! As it begins to get colder out, you will still see a majority of the JMU community coming together to support our dukes which is really awesome, and always super fun.

17. Wake up for your 8 am like:

Being a freshman, you will most likely end up with at least one 8 am in your two semesters. If not that, then the grueling 9:05 am, which is almost just as bad because you are so tempted to skip it since it is only 50 mins and you really want that sleep. Anyways, it isn’t easy waking up for those, but just remember everyone has to do eventually. If I showered in the morning I would probably cry in there not gonna lie.

18. Walk to forest during frog week – big mistake.

During frog week, there are herds of girls (and some guys) who make there way to forest. Having been that none of you have been there before, the chances of getting lost are high, making the walk 45 minutes, and then making the walk home an hour. Sometimes you will even end up hopping on a bus and have no idea where it is going and have to walk miles home. But you know it is okay, happens to the best of us. Awful at the time, but months later gr8 memz to look back on.

19. Shout out to all of my villagers – have dhub become your new home and be offended when people make fun of it.

If you live in the village, you know that dhub is a constant option that you want to ignore, and want to hate, but for some reason find a love for. Everyone from east campus, the quad, lake area, and sometimes even hillside will shame you for liking Dhub. They’ll say it tastes like a$$, and that you would have to pay them to go there. And your just like “haha yeah you’re so right” but on the inside you low key like it even better than the rest. Or you proudly defend Dhub because it is your second home. Either way villagers (most), consider Dhub the place to be, and the “usual spot” for din and brunch. So plz, let the Dhub shaming stop. 

What are some other things that will happen to you at James Madison University? Comment below!
Featured photo source: breezejmu.org


Alexandra Smith

Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.

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