It has probably been a whirlwind of emotion for you these past two weeks. From Orientation to dorm room assignment, it can seem like a daunting task to have to find where you belong amid the chaos of a new environment.

You have already experienced a great deal of what it means to be a college student. With everything on your plate, it is important to remember that you are not the first person to be stressed out and sleep deprived. We went ahead and collected some pieces of advice from the seniors that have done it before.

Here’s what they had to say:

“Don’t be scared or worried if you feel like you don’t fit right in at the beginning. College is about finding yourself and along the way you will find your true friends, even if it takes a little while.” – Renée Rocco

“The fact about memories and friends is that they don’t make themselves. Getting involved is the door to more opportunities, and there are plenty of doors to choose from.” – Daniel Brammer

“Go to sporting events! They are free, fun, and super social. Plus, they support the Dukes!” – Katie Vaughn

“Don’t worry about figuring out your major, take classes that interest you. Find out what you’re passionate about and learn more about who you are.” – Kimberly McDonnell

“Decide today to pick up a new hobby, try out a new skill, or get in-touch with a side of yourself that you have been longing for, by finding a club, group, or organization to investigate. Who knows, you may even find a completely new group of life-long friends out of it.” – Lauren Blitz

“Be open to everything all the time. You never know who you’re going to meet or become friends with. Be you because you’re the only one.” – Christopher Cowdrey

“Be open-minded, but steadfast in defense of your beliefs. Leave your mark on JMU and let JMU leave it’s mark on you.” – Julia Shawver

“A bad test grade doesn’t define your college career or your GPA.” – Madison Spears

“Be single. You are alone, not lonely. Take everything one day at a time.” – Brittany Ramirez

“Remember to put water in your Easy Mac.” – Buck Bloomingdale

If you take anything away from these statements let it be that your time for exploration is now. Experiencing change can be both terrifying and exhilarating. Life is often random, but that doesn’t mean directionless. Remain cognizant of the opportunities that arise out of seemingly nowhere. If you’re lost on where to begin your new journey, then at least make a promise to yourself to start today.

Go to Student Org Night, and then go to club meetings. Take interest in other people. Ask questions about what they are passionate about and get inspired. You can go to a club meeting by yourself, it’s okay! Now is the time to take a chance and stay hopeful. Just remember to breathe.

Photo Graphic by Erin Thorn.

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