- Class: Junior
- Major: Communications
- Gender: F
- High School: Pennsbury
- Transfer Student: N
The people are the best thing about JMU! Our campus is known for it's enthusiasm and politeness (holding doors, smiling). I think the size of JMU is perfect - it's not too big where you just get lost in a crowd, but too small where everyone knows your entire life story. On sunny days - everyone on the Quad - playing frisbee, studying, hanging out, or sun bathing. On rainy days - I like Taylor Down Under (TDU) or Airport Lounge (APL) for studying, watching tv in APL, or playing board games, watching open mic, or grabbing a drink from Java City in TDU. I think the JMU administration is very helpful and hands on. During freshmen move in day this year, I saw many of them rolling up their sleeves and helping move students into their dorms. I think they care about us as much as our professors do. There is a TON of school pride; I don't know anyone who can't belt out the fight song on command. One experience I'll always remember is the first night freshmen year when I met my RA, my Orientation Guides, and my suitemates (who are my best friends). I think it was a momentous night since we were all nervous to be away from home for the first time. Also, we had to play an icebreaker where everyone had to give themselves a nickname and we still refer to some of our friends by the nicknames, so it's pretty funny. Lack of parking is probably the most frequent student complaint.
In the Communications department, professors do know most students by name. I gave a presentation yesterday with two professors and five other students during a CHOICES meeting (an open house for accepted students). I continually nodded in agreement as I listened to my professors speak about how they care about their students, both inside and outside of the classroom. On the same note, it's important to say that by no means do they suffocate us, but I know I can walk into their office hours with any topic on my mind. Class participation is very common. I would say the majority of my classes have been around 20-30 people or less. Classes are even smaller once you reach upper level courses, for example four out of five of my current classes has 15 or less students. I love the student/teacher ratio because it really allows for everyone to voice their opinions or ideas. As I already mentioned, JMU professors are really interested in hearing student's viewpoints, and every class that I have been in has encouraged participation (even since Freshmen year). I think JMU has good academic requirements. We have a really strong general education program which everyone is required to take. The Gen-Ed program is beneficial for undeclared students since you have to take a variety of classes, you can see which school might be the best fit for you. Although, it's annoying to have to take classes that are your weakness (math and science for me), you also take classes that you never expected to like. For instance, I had to take an art history class Freshmen year, and it turned out to be one of my favorites - I actually found it fun and relaxing to read the textbook, which I never thought I would think of any class. Therefore, I encourage students to experiment when choosing Gen-Ed's because you might really enjoy a class you never expected.
As I said earlier, JMU is diverse and I've have friends of every background. Students dress very casual - jeans, t-shirts, flip flops. There a lot of students from VA of course, and then a bunch from NJ, PA, NY; I've also met students from Utah, CA, and Texas - so it really is a range. I think a middle class financial background is most prevalent. I have some friends who are very politically active, in the Republican or Democratic Student Organizations, but as a whole, I don't think students are very politically active.
The Best Things
smiling faces everywhere you look!
The Worst Things
Not enough on-campus parking