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The Ultimate JMU Bucket List

The Ultimate JMU Bucket List

If you go to JMU, there are some things you just have to do before you graduate. If you have already graduated, see how many of these bucket list items you can check off! Keep reading to discover the ultimate JMU bucket list!


1. Go to the puppy farm.

Gap View Ranch & Kennel breeds golden retrievers, and for just five dollars, you can play with puppies (it’s a steal)! This is one of the best ways to beat the stress of midterms and finals. Just make sure to call ahead to schedule a time.


2. Get a picture with Duke Dog.

This is definitely an essential item. Whether it’s at a football game, orientation,
or a spotting on campus, you have to get your picture taken with the lovely Duke Dog before you leave campus.

3. Throw streamers at a home football game.

This is the big touchdown celebration. Of course, to do this, you have to go to a football game (trust me, though, it’s a beautiful sight).

4. See a show at the Planetarium.

JMU’s Planetarium is state of the art, and they offer free shows on Saturdays. They have showings in various subject, so you can definitely find one that interests you.



5. Have Dr. Daniels for psychology.

A self-proclaimed mixture between Brad Pitt and Eric Cartman, he won the “Hottest Teacher” award from two years in a row (solely by joking with his students to vote for him). He is a hilarious guy (which makes sense since he has a background in stand-up comedy) and he is one of the highest rated professors at JMU (on

6. Visit the Arboretum.

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is a beautiful botanical garden on JMU’s campus. You can walk through the designated trail then have a picnic when you finish.


7. Take a picture with the James Madison statues.

This is a necessity that most people go ahead and do anyways. You have the option of the statue of East or Main campus, but I say take a picture with them both. It is James Madison, after all.

8. Go to Massanutten resort for some summer and winter fun.

Whether it’s the waterpark in the summer or snowboarding and tubing in the winter, Massanutten is a relatively cheap option for some fun on the weekends (or when classes get cancelled).

9. Play with the Quad Cats.

There are two Quad cats on campus that are fed by the teachers and students. If you get the chance (and if they’ll come to you), show them some love.


10. Watch the sunset from the ISAT patio.

The sunsets are beautiful on campus regardless, but when you are able to get a bird’s eye view from the top of ISAT, why wouldn’t you jump on that opportunity? (It’s something you won’t regret).

11. Meet President Alger.

One of the humblest people you’ll meet, President Alger is very kind, and he loves when students engage him on campus (so walk up and say “hello”).

12. Go tailgating.

This is probably something most people have in mind, but if you don’t, consider tailgating with some close friends. It will hype you up for sporting events so you can fully support your fellow Dukes to victory.


13. Go hiking (especially in the Fall).

Beautiful scenery is within reach in and around Harrisonburg. Get together with a group of friends and go hiking one weekend (Reddish Knob is a very popular destination). You will be able to capture an Instagram worthy picture anywhere you go!

14. Enroll in a class at UREC.

From cycling to yoga, there are a lot of free classes offered during the week, and there are also additional classes that you can pay for. To do this, you have to register for the classes on UREC’s website.

15. Find the tunnels under the Quad.

These were said to be built so students could get to class in the snow or rain. The entrances to the tunnels have been locked, and you’re not supposed to enter them, but whoever listens to rules? (I am totally kidding; please listen to rules).


16. Go to an A Capella concert.

Whether it’s Exit 245, The BlueTones, or Note-oriety, JMU is full of extremely talented A Capella groups. Watch for handouts and fliers around campus to see when they’re having concerts.

17. Attend a late night breakfast.

These occur on campus rather frequently and are usually host by UPB. They will typically have themes and run from 10 PM to 12AM. Besides, who doesn’t love breakfast as a late night snack?

18. Have a snowball fight on the Quad.

What could be a better backdrop to host a snowball fight? Get up a group of friends to start a fight, and you will probably get some more people to jump in with you.


19. Go roller skating at Funky’s.

Another idea for a little weekend fun is to head over to Funky’s. This is a popular destination for many clubs and friend groups alike. They even give discounts if you have your student id.

20. Meet Officer Conley.

One of the most popular people in the Harrisonburg community, Officer Conley has a goal to meet every single student that attends JMU. He will strike up a conversation with you in a heartbeat, and he even has his own Facebook page called “I Know Officer Conley” (he had to make a second one because there were so many people on his first page).

21. Declare a Minor (schedule permitting).

If there is something else you are interested in but you don’t want to actually major in it, minor in it! This is a great use of time, and it can give you an added benefit to your major, or it can help broaden your academic horizons.


22. Visit Luray Caverns.

If you want to see your Earth Science class in action look no further. These caverns host stalactite and stalagmite formations (which look super cool).

23. Go to Madipalooza.

This is JMU’s annual spring event that is usually held on the East Campus lawn (weather permitting). They have food, music, vendors, and an assortment of other things (even some freebies).

24. Paint the spirit rock.

The spirit rock is located on East Campus, and it is available for anyone to paint on (just make sure whatever you put on there won’t cause an uproar).


25. Try the deep fried Oreos at Jack Brown’s.

I absolutely love deep fried Oreos, and I cannot wait to try the ones from Jack Brown’s. This restaurant is highly acclaimed for their burgers, and people also rate these treats high up on the list of awesome things you can get from there.

26. Go to the Blue Hole.

This is a popular swimming location in Harrisonburg to cool off on those hot days. Another plus is that it is very beautiful.

27. Go to Dayton Days Fall Festival.

This is an arts & crafts festival that is held on the first Saturday in October. There are food vendors, specialty shops, and different galleries to look at. Best of all, attendance and shuttle services are free!


28. Spend a night on the Quad.

The Quad is absolutely beautiful in the day, so imagine it at night. You can lay under the stars with some of your most trusted friends and talk about that 8 AM you dread going to every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

29. Get an internship.

This is the beginning step in getting some degree-related work experience. Use tools like your advisor, job search engines, or Recruit-A-Duke to find and apply for an internship. You can also attend one of the Career & Internship Fairs JMU hosts in the fall and spring.

30. Explore Staunton, VA.

The historic area of Staunton is absolutely charming. This is a fun weekend getaway to enjoy some quaint shops and have some good food.

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31. Play trivia at Clementine.

If you have a stock pile of knowledge in your brain, why not put it to good use? Clementine has trivia every Tuesday night (you can get a $50 gift certificate if you win).

32. Participate in Relay for Life.

This is one of JMU’s biggest events throughout the year. You can volunteer and get your family to support the cause by donating.


33. Join a club or sports team.

If you’re new to campus, this is one of the fastest ways to meet more people. If you’re not new to campus, getting involved will not only burn some time, but it will expose you to new experiences and new people.

34. Climb the rock wall at UREC.

No matter what your athletic level is, this is always a fun experience. I cannot wait to try this out (and hopefully not embarrass myself too badly).

35. Visit your first year residence hall.

This will be fun to do right before graduation (aka during the senior crawl). You score bonus points if you’re actually able to make it back into your old room.


36. Ride on Skyline Drive.

You love beautiful scenery? Skyline Drive has got you covered. It is 109 miles long and stretches through the Shenandoah National Park. You could even stop and hike if that’s more your thing.

37. Get ice cream at Kline’s.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Kline’s! They have some of the best ice cream in Harrisonburg, and they have two different locations.



38. Study abroad.

Talk about a great experience! JMU prides itself on having an awesome study abroad program. They have many destinations for an assortment of majors. Look for fliers and check your emails for opportunities to apply to the program.

39. Kiss someone on the Kissing Rocks.

The Kissing Rocks are located on the Quad in front of Sheldon Hall. Be careful who you kiss because JMU legend says you will get married to them!

40. Volunteer!

Here at JMU, there is no excuse not to do some kind of volunteer work. We have the Rotaract Club, Alternative Spring Break, CHOICES, and other events where students can volunteer. Not only can volunteering look good to future employers, it can be an extremely rewarding experience.



41. Decorate your grad cap.

Imagine just being months away from graduating! For some it may be bittersweet (or maybe just bitter or just sweet), but decorating your grad cap is one last way to express yourself to your fellow Dukes. As the saying goes, go big or go home!



42. Get a job!

This is what all of those all-nighters and late night coffee runs have come to. Use different job-search engines, Recruit-A-Duke, networking, and JMU’s Career & Internship Fair to lock down a new gig. Congrats on making it to the “real world.”

Can you check anything off of this ultimate JMU bucket list? Share and comment below!
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