Updated: May 3
As hard as it is to say it, graduation at JMU takes place one week from today. As a senior, I have been looking back on my experiences and thinking about what I’ve learned, what I wish I learned sooner, and the growth that I’ve experienced over the past four years that has shaped me into the person that I am today, both professionally and in my day-to-day life. So, to pay homage to my time spent at JMU, here are some of the things I would encourage not taking for granted, because before you know it, you’ll be the one crossing that stage.
To start off this list, I wish I knew how much I would miss living on campus during my freshman year. At the time I was jealous of everyone who lived in off-campus housing, but now, I am envious of those who get to live on campus today and in the upcoming months. There was nothing better than trekking across campus to e-hall after a long day of classes or going to the library on the weekends and coming back to your dorm to relax. It was a great experience that made me feel a part of campus life in every way possible—though the only thing that I don’t miss is not having AC.
Another experience that I regret taking for granted is attending office hours with your professors. During my time at JMU, I didn’t always take the extra step attend my professor’s office hours and if I could start all over, I would go every week. I always thought that I need to have questions when I went to office hours, and while that may be true in most cases, I don’t think its necessary. You can go to office hours for anything—introducing yourself, having a conversation, or even just getting to know your professor more. While I might not have gone to every professor’s office hours, I would like to say that I am grateful for all that they have done for me in terms of my education and guidance during my time here.
Lastly, I wish that I realized sooner how valuable every moment is while going to JMU. Even though there were stressful times, or even times where uncertainty was omnipresent, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. Not only have I been pushed out of my comfort zone, but I have been able to find my passions and my voice, and I will never take that for granted. So, as the next week is going to be exciting and joyous, it will also be bittersweet as we cross the stage and welcome all the change that comes along with graduating. Until then, Go Dukes!