I?ve been using this site since I was a freshman in high school to start looking at colleges. Now that I?m finally ready to write my own review of JMU, just know that I?ve read tons of reviews before, and that a majority of them should be taken with a grain of salt. Most people I?m sure go on this site purposely to write negative reviews, and I?m quite frankly surprised at all of the negativity I?m seeing here about JMU.
That said, my first few months at James Madison University were kind of miserable. I was out of state, had trouble making good friends, and found myself wanting to be somewhere else. What it came down to, though, was that I was kind of afraid to get close to anyone. I came in with this notion that everyone was automatically shallow and wouldn?t be someone that I could really be friends with. I had some few fun nights my first semester, but wasn?t really getting anything out of it. I was starting to think I had made the wrong decision going there.
My second semester, though, I definitely lightened up. I?ve found so many cool people that I miss now in the middle of the summer, and I really can?t wait to get back to Harrisonburg. I was even fortunate enough to join Greek life during the spring semester and it?s been amazing. Even if you think you would never join a sorority or fraternity in a million years, I definitely recommend it. It?s opened up so many doors for me and I wouldn?t have it any other way. There are so many other organizations to get involved with too. I can?t stress enough how many awesome people there are out there to meet, as much as you may not think so.
Which leads me to a similar point; girls tend to complain about a lack of guys. I?ve never seen this is an issue. In fact, I?ve been to parties where there are too many guys to the point where I?ve felt uncomfortable. There are all kinds of parties though ? big, small, frat, apartment ? that partying is never really an issue. Oh, and the drunk bus is awesome.
JMU?s facilities are truly top notch. I?m impressed every single day at how beautiful the campus is. Thinking about the bluestone buildings right now is making me want to go back so bad! The new side of campus doesn?t look so great on the outside, but I love eating at Festival and ISAT/HHS is a top notch building. Also, the food is amazing in case you haven?t heard.
The only thing I was really bummed about at JMU my first year was my dorm. I lived in the village and while it?s a great location, it wasn?t so great for meeting people. When you?re stuck in a suite with the same six people ? girls, especially ? things can get tense. I didn?t know that many people in my building as a result and it kind of made me wish I was living in hall style. I would recommend it because my friends living in hall style dorms had a blast. Also, the village isn?t air conditioned which is pretty lame. I?m living on campus again next year in an air conditioned hall style dorm and I?m pretty excited!
As far as academics go, GenEds really suck. There are some that are very interesting if you can get them, but signing up for classes as a freshman and even sophomore is such a pain in the ass. That being said, most professors are really awesome and make GenEds enjoyable. I didn?t even realize how much I?ve learned this past year in my classes as much as everyone tends to complain about them. Anyway, I would definitely recommend RateMyProfessor because it tends to be accurate. I?m really excited to start my major classes this semester and to get all this filler out of the way.ANYWAY. For a long time I was afraid I had made the wrong decision going to JMU. I wasn?t having the time of my life like everyone said I would and I was pretty upset in Harrisonburg. But, honestly, things have gotten so much better that I couldn?t see myself anywhere else. There are times when I wish I was closer to home, but at the same time when I?ve visited my friends at other schools, they really just don?t compare to JMU. It?s so homey and welcoming, and even if you do feel alone, there?s ALWAYS someone to talk to, even if you don?t realize it right away. JMU is the school for me and I wouldn?t have it any other way!