Hi friends, I’m feeling a little under the weather today but I was inspired to make a post reflecting on my college experience. Yesterday I took my little brother down to James Madison University (JMU) to tour. It brought back so many great memories that I wanted to share with all of you why I chose (and stayed) at JMU for college. Whether you have graduated like me or in high school looking at college, I hope you get something out of this post. So anyways, 5 reasons I chose JMU…
1. The Atmosphere
Okay, so the first time I went to JMU it was unlike any other college experience I had. I just remember looking around and everyone looked so happy and excited to be there. I received so many smiles from strangers, and I remember our tour guide running into some friends while we were touring and they all were so engaging. JMU just seemed like it’s own community and I loved it. I’m not going to lie I didn’t really pay attention to all the technicalities (professor to student ratio, retention rate, etc..which are great btw..) I just wanted to go to a school that felt like I belonged there. After that day I pretty much made up my mind.
2. The Friendships
When you move in as a freshman at JMU, they have an orientation (like most other schools) for freshman. But JMU’s orientation was a little more serious. It lasted the entire week before classes started and there were more events to go to than you had time for. It was pretty cool because you really got to see how MUCH there was to do at this school. I made friends easily with a lot of people in my dorm that week, so I was able to start off the school year with some buddies. Once classes began I decided (my mom forced me actually) to sign up for sorority recruitment. You know how they say ‘mom knows best’? Well she does. My sorority was extremely welcoming for me and even now, 7 years later, my roommates are my sorority sisters. I know you hear about horror stories at some schools, but Greek Life at JMU is amazing, I highly recommend.
3. The food
So, I knew JMU was known for their food. But I didn’t really notice the quality of food right away. Here’s the thing. The food is comparable to what your parents would cook, or what you would eat at a restaurant. I didn’t realize that they meant the food was good compare to other schools. Until I visited my friend at Virginia Tech…what a mistake. Lol just kidding! Kind of..but seriously. The food at JMU compared to other schools: fantastic. So many on campus options (including Chick-fil-a, Auntie Anne’s, Dunkin, Quiznos, Starbucks, and pretty soon Qdoba) that you can use your meal plan to purchase. The dining halls are no joke either. If that’s not a win then I don’t know what is.
4. The Scenery
To follow up on the food, you do not have to worry about gaining the freshman 15. Maybe the freshman 5 or 10…but with all those dang hills on campus, everyday is leg day for Harrisonburg! The campus is spread out just enough that you can walk from one end to the other in about 30 to 45 minutes. That also means there are so many gorgeous places on campus. Some of my favorite places on campus are the quad’s beautiful blue stone buildings and East Campus by the big J. Maddy statue (GORGEOUS when the sun sets). Not even 30 minutes away are the mountains as well, and a million wineries so lots of pretty photo ops!
5. The Opportunities
Okay, maybe one of the more important reasons to go to JMU.. the opportunities are ENDLESS. Not only are there more clubs than you can count, the faculty works really hard to create connections for you out in the real world. I actually got an internship opportunity through a faculty member at the school. Experience is big for JMU whether it’s in through community, across the nation or abroad. I felt like I was constantly receiving information about internships, job opportunities, community service, etc. There were very few professors who weren’t passionate about creating connections and setting you up for success. You do have to put in work however, but JMU made it very easy to find resources.