Welcome Class of 2020!

Congratulations, you’ve made it to pre-adulthood. You’re now prepared for your next four years to be filled with late nights of binge drinking coffee to meet deadlines and well-earned study breaks of Netflix and naps. But now your next challenge is choosing where you want to turn into this coffee addict and frequent napper. CHOICES has shown you the greatness of JMU, but the most important part of the university is the students who make it great.

Wilson Perdomo, a senior computer science major, chose JMU for higher education.

“I thought JMU had a great program and even had other classes that sounded interesting,” Perdomo said. “I’ve had a very interesting couple of years, I’ve even been an RA in a couple of buildings. It’s a very social and outgoing school.”

And if you’re sweating over deciding between schools, think of Cody Lawhorn, a senior kinesiology major who made a last minute decision.

“I originally got accepted to Liberty and almost went but the night before I committed to coming here,” Lawhorn said. “It was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Freshman biology major Morgan Thorpe chose JMU for its energetic and intimate atmosphere.

“Everyone here was so friendly when I took a tour,” Thorpe said. “They all seemed so happy to be here.”

Some students couldn’t wait to experience something other than their high school environment.

“Students were really accepting and seemed really into the school which was something I didn’t have in high school,” Meredith Browder, a freshman interdisciplinary liberal studies major, said. “I wanted to go to a school people were proud to be at.” 

There are even students like sophomore music education major Chris Pennington, who came to JMU for his musical aspirations.

“JMU has a really great marching band and that was something that drew me in,” Pennington said. “Not only is there a good education program for music here, after visiting my senior year of high school it was hard to say no to a place like this.”

And then there are those who wish they could turn back 

time and see JMU through their naive freshman eyes.

“I got into VCU and I was thrilled about that, but then I toured here,” Mike Gefell, a junior media arts and design major, said. “I thought this was definitely a place I want to be and I’m still loving it. I’m a junior and I wish I was a freshman again.”

And even if you think you’re not ready for the journey ahead, you are. Before you know it, you’re going to be a senior who’s ready to tackle the real world like Whitney Roberts, a senior media arts and design and communication studies double major.

“I graduate in 39 days, not that I’m counting,” Roberts said. “It’s bittersweet to leave this place.” 

So go on, potential JMU students. Be great wherever you go. These next four years of sleep deprivation and nail-biting stress is only the beginning, and it will be oh so worth it. 

Contact Joanna McNeilly at mcneilje@dukes.jmu.edu.