The Ultimate Guide To The JMU Party Scene


It’s no secret that JMU hosts the best college parties. Every weekend, guys and girls from all over come to visit Harrisonburg for the notorious night life. I know, it’s a lot for us Dukes to live up to. At times, it can be overwhelming and even stressful, especially if you’re a first year. With such a wide variety of parties, here’s everything you need to know about the JMU party scene.

1. Pre-gaming!

Yes, one party per night is just not enough. Pre-games are considered to be smaller gatherings before parties at different places. Every pre-game at JMU is different. Some are more laid back while others may seem like a party itself; it just depends on the mood of the scene. Regardless, the key to pre-gaming is to not drink so much. You want to make it to the party afterwards.

2. Of course, frat parties!

One major tip for going to frat parties is to not wear your nice shoes, they WILL get ruined! No matter what, the floors of frat houses are always covered with a mixture of beer, mud, and who knows what else. Don’t be worried if you find that frat parties at JMU aren’t your thing, they’re certainly not mine. They tend to be over packed, poorly lit, and reek of beer. However, sometimes frat parties are a great place to release your inner dancing-queen. Some fraternities play great songs that will draw you to the dance floor.

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3. Smaller apartment parties.

Aside from fraternity parties, apartment parties are popular places to attend on a given weekend. In comparison to frat houses, they are much cleaner (for the most part) and less crowded. Apartment parties will usually be hosted by upperclassmen that you know or players on sports teams. On occasion, you may find yourself secluded to just one floor of an apartment, with the stairs being blocked off by couches and other furniture. This is because the hosts may not want drunk people upstairs in their rooms, and moving the furniture creates more room for more people. Kegs and beer pong tables take up a lot of space!

4. Day drinking is acceptable!

If it’s 12 pm on a Saturday…then it’s time to start drinking! The recent noise ordinance of Harrisonburg won’t stop us; JMU students will party at any hour of the day. A sunny day + alcohol = happy college kids. The best part about day drinks? When the hosts supply a mechanical bull. Nothing is more amusing than watching drunk people hold on for their dear lives.

5. Know what to wear beforehand!

Although you will want to look your best for nights out, there on some things to keep in mind while choosing an outfit for the JMU party scene. Nine times out of ten, you will get a drink poured on you at some point of the night, whether it’s jungle juice or beer. Wear clothing that you know won’t stain! Also avoid the color grey, unless you are willing to embrace pit stains. For every weekend occasion, your goal is to feel confident AND comfy. You should focus on your next beer pong shot, not your clothing. Embrace yourself and you will embrace the night.

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6. All aboard the “Drunk Bus”!

Once you figure out the bus schedule, you can conquer anything. Not only is taking the bus a safe way of transportation after tackling the JMU party scene, it’s also highly entertaining. Starting around 10pm on the weekends the buses begin to be full with drunk, college students who are eager for the night. On a drunk bus, anything can happen. From popping champagne to everyone singing along to the radio, there’s nothing a drunk-bus rider hasn’t witnessed.

7. Partying isn’t for everyone!

Don’t feel like you’re missing out at JMU if partying isn’t your scene. College is all about finding yourself and discovering what you’re into and what you’re not. And if getting wasted on the weekends just isn’t for you, trust me, you’re not alone! There’s plenty of people at JMU who party without drinking. At the end of the day, we are all Dukes and we all want to have the best four years of our lives at the greatest school in America.

What’s your favorite thing about the JMU party scene? Feel free to comment below and share the article!
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