quad - anelise johnson copy.jpg

Take advantage of large outdoor spaces at JMU such as the Quad to play games with friends.

While it can be tempting to go out to parties freshman year, JMU has a variety of activities for students to create new friendships and tap into interests or hobbies. Harrisonburg is your new home, and the downtown that you’ll grow to love is just a few minutes from main campus. Instead of participating in activities that could give you a strike or a criminal charge, look for ways to better your JMU experience.

Game night

A good old-fashioned game night is a way to bond with your hallmates. Card games like “What Do You Meme,” classic board games like “The Game of Life” and playing video games bring people together. Take a walk to Walmart or look on Amazon Prime for games. If board games aren’t your thing, try a game of assassin with your hallmates. Nerf gun wars can provide endless nights of fun. 

Arts and crafts

Take yourself back to the good old days and try some hands-on arts and crafts. JMU’s X-Labs offer options to create custom items, often for free. Temper, a literary magazine, and 3D printing club also provide creative outlets on campus. Look at Pinterest for inspiration: paint personal canvases, sew scrunchies and more. A trip to local thrift shop could find old treasures with a potential to be repurposed. 

Get moving 

Take a walk and learn the city of Harrisonburg. Exploring downtown could look like going to dinner with your hallmates or window-shopping at small businesses. If you ever can’t walk downtown, use methods like Bird scooters, pedicabs, UREC’s rented bikes or HDPT’s bus system.

If you play a sport, start an intramural team with your hallmates. Take advantage of large outdoor spaces at JMU such as the Quad. Ultimate frisbee and double dutch clubs thrive on these spots on campus.  

Record the moment

Explore the arboretum and take a photoshoot with friends to get pictures for “the gram.” If your friends are starting to look for internships, grab your friend with the nicest iPhone and head to the Quad for headshots. Your LinkedIn will be taken up a notch if you have a more professional profile photo. 

Consider using an app like “1 Second Everday” that’ll help you document your college years. The app compiles a series of one second long videos into one longer collage of memories.

On-campus fun 

During the week, the University Program Board (UPB) might put on a Funny Freakin’ Friday, a stand-up comedy show or host a showing of “Frozen 2.” Look up its movie schedule and mark off your calendar to see recently released films for a cheap price without leaving campus. If you can’t make it out of your dorm, have a movie night in your lounge and invite other people in your building to come. Raid Mr. Chips for comfort food.