Hello, future Dukes! Looking back on my senior year in high school, I still vividly remember the stressful days of preparing to embark on my journey at JMU. My mom and I began a “college” pile of belongings for my dorm room that eventually consumed our entire guest room. Moving into a dorm, beginning college classes, and choosing a major takes a lot of thought and preparation. Needless to say, fresh starts are never easy, but they are guaranteed to be exciting! Here are a few Daily Duke approved tips to help you as you begin your most exciting journey yet:

1. Take UNST 102:

Not sure what you want to major in? No worries! University Studies 102 is a great course for students who are undecided on their career path. This 1 credit course prepares students for career planning by providing an overview of each major and teaching decision-making skills. For a full list of classes, check out JMU’s course catalog here.

2. Student Org Night:

Find your people! It is important to get involved on campus from the very beginning. Although joining a club, team or greek organization can be overwhelming while you’re still acclimating to classes and dorm life, getting involved is key! Check out Student Org Night to explore all of the different organizations you can join.

Can’t attend? Check out this 2016 Daily Duke article.

3. Download Mobile Jac Card and Bus Apps:

Download the Mobile iD App! You won’t regret it especially in the unfortunate (but likely) situation that you misplace your JAC card. The Mobile App allows you to scan into your dorm using your phone and still have access to your meal plan.


There are also a few different bus apps available for download in the Apple Store. These apps allow students to view when the next bus is arriving, what other stops the bus will take, and how long it will take to get to your destination.


4. Get to know your professors:

Introduce yourself! Getting to know your professors at the beginning of the semester is extremely helpful. Although intimidating at first, building relationships with them proves to be worthwhile especially when cramming for tests or finding other classes to take in the future. Be intentional to build positive relationships with your teachers and always use them as resources!

5. Reach outside of your comfort zone:

“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” Take opportunities to get to know people you may not think you’d normally be friends with. Discover new things. Sign up for classes at UREC. Learn about alternative spring break trips or study abroad programs. You have four years to try new things and learn more about yourself. Take advantage of all the opportunities at your fingertips!

Fellow Dukes, do you have any helpful tips for the incoming freshman class? Comment below! 

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