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Advice to Incoming Freshman at JMU By: Bennett Gravely


You did it! All of those mornings when it seemed impossible to get up for school, and all of those afternoons when you would have rather been doing anything except your homework have paid off. You've been accepted into an amazing university! But now, what's next? The first few weeks of college can be an intimidating series of ice-breaker activities, pressure to fit in, and an overwhelming sense of loneliness at times. I thought I would share a few pieces of advice that I wish had been given to me when I was starting my time at JMU, in the hopes that they prove helpful to anyone in need.

First of all, I'm sure everyone has heard it before, but it is crucial to get involved early. I did not take advantage of the opportunities to get involved that were presented to me early in my college career, and it has been one of my biggest regrets. Whether it is engaging in Greek life, joining a club sport, participating in an acapella group, or any other club or organization, just join! No one is going to force you to stay in an organization if you decide it isn't for you. It is much better to put yourself out there and give it a try than to regret not doing it later on.

Additionally, be open yet cautious about the people you surround yourself with. Whether you believe it or not, peer pressure does exist and is particularly prevalent in college social settings. There will be plenty of times when you are around drugs and alcohol, and it is important to remember to have fun but also be safe.

Most importantly, remember that it is completely normal to feel homesick and stressed. It takes time for everyone, and you are not alone in anything you are feeling. Stay positive and keep making an effort, and you will learn to love JMU. Good luck!


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