Thinking Of Applying To Be A FROG? You Should!

Thinking Of Applying To Be A FROG? You Should!

The rewards are beyond what you would expect.

1787 August Orientation is a long-standing tradition at James Madison University. It is a week-long event filled with activities and talks to better integrate the new first years at JMU and within the Harrisonburg community. When they arrive, they are greeted by over-enthusiastic students in bright yellow t-shirts. Enter the FReshman Orientation Guides, or better known as, FROGs.

FROGs lead the first-year students during Orientation and are there to help them adjust to being at JMU. How did these students get to be Freshman Orientation Guides? What most people don’t know is the extensive application process and then training. This welcoming bunch applied for the position in January, a whole semester and summer before the students would arrive. Once accepted, we had a team transition day where we spent time learning and working on scenarios. Then, we gave up our last week of summer in order to attend all-day training where we learned how to be a conversation moderator, worked more scenarios, learned the do’s and don’ts of guiding the new students, icebreakers and setting up for the week. FROGs are not paid--it’s a volunteer position.

It sounds tiring but the rewards were beyond what was expected.

When I say being a FROG was one of the best parts of my college career so far, I 110% stand behind that statement. Being a FROG gave me an opportunity to be a leader in a community that once was foreign to me but became my home. I was blessed with the best FROG group, OPA (Orientation Peer Advisor) and FROG Partner I could ask for. My hall was filled with eager first-year girls who were ready to embrace every aspect of Orientation and JMU. Sure, the move-in days were strenuous but it only motivated us further. In one week, strangers became friends and I became a mentor to 18 lovely young ladies.

Being a FROG really gave me a new appreciation for JMU for having 1787 August Orientation. Most schools do not go to such great lengths to ensure their new students feel welcomed and at home. It also gave me a new appreciation for my FROGs when I was a first-year. After being on the other side, I know what they went through and the emotions that they probably felt and I hope they know that their efforts are recognized and I’m extremely grateful that they gave up their time to welcome us.

FROG Applications just went live for next year’s batch of FROGs and I encourage anyone discerning if it’s worth their time to just apply and take that risk. You will not regret the decision and you will not be alone in the process. You will have the entire O-team behind you which includes the Office of Orientation, the OPAs, your fellow FROGs, your specific FROG Group, your partner and the Office of Residential life which includes the Hall Directors and RA’s. You will literally meet so many people who want you to succeed and will aid you to your success as a FROG. Also, you get to do all the fun activities again but this time, YOU get to wear the yellow shirts and be the leaders!

Cover Image Credit: Maddy Whitfield

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Why You Actually Don't Want To Be Prescribed Adderall

ADD isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

As I'm writing this, I can feel my concentration slipping. Noises have become enticing, I feel distanced from my phone, and every time someone walks by me in the library, I turn around seeing if it's someone I know. My extended-release Adderall is starting to wear off and my brain is starting to relax back to its natural state. My ADD is climbing out from underneath the blanket of focus I had for 10 hours today.

ADD is not all that it's cracked up to be. Sure, we get prescribed the precious Adderall so many people want, but at what cost? Let me put this in context for you. You know when you're at the library and there's a one really, really loud girl talking on the phone? You know the one. The girl that, for some reason, thinks it's OK to have a full-fledged conversation with her mom about her boyfriend in the middle of the quiet section. The girl that's talking so loud that it's all you can think about, occupying all of your focus. Well, that's what every single person in the room is like when you have ADD.

Distractions that are easy to ignore to someone without ADD are intensified and, instead of focusing on the task at hand, I'm listening to the girl three seats down from me eat her barbecue kettle chips. When you have ADD, it's not just schoolwork you can't focus on. You can't focus on anything. I tried to watch a foreign film one time without my medicine, and I forgot to pay attention to the subtitles. I realized about halfway through the movie that I had no idea what was going on.

What almost everyone that asks me for my Adderall doesn't understand is that I take Adderall to focus how you would normally. When you take my Adderall you feel like you can solve the world's problems. You can bang out an entire project in one night. You can cram for an entire exam fueled by this surge of motivation that seems super-hero-like.

You take my Adderall and ask me, “Is this how you feel all the time?" And, unfortunately, my answer is no. I'll never feel like a limitless mastermind. When I take Adderall, I become a normal human being. I can finish a normal amount of work, in a normal amount of time.

My brain works in two modes: on Adderall, and off Adderall. On Adderall, I'm attentive, motivated and energetic. Off Adderall, I can barely get up the motivation and focus to clean my room or send an email. And it's frustrating. I'm frustrated with my lack of drive. I'm frustrated that this is how my brain operates. Scattered, spastic and very, very unorganized. There's nothing desirable about not being able to finish a sentence because you lost thought mid-way through.

The worst thing that you can say to anyone with ADD is, “I think I should start taking Adderall." Having ADD isn't a free pass to get super-pills, having ADD means you have a disability. I take Adderall because I have a disability, and it wasn't a choice I had a say in. I was tested for ADD my freshman year of college.

My parents were skeptical because they didn't know exactly what ADD was. To them, the kids with ADD were the bad kids in school that caused a scene and were constantly sent out of class. Not an above average student in her first year at a university. I went to a counselor and, after I was diagnosed with ADD, told me with a straight mouth, “Marissa this is something you're going to have to take for the rest of your life."

When the late-night assignments and cramming for the tests are over, and we're all out in the real world, I'm still going to be taking Adderall. When I'm raising a family and have to take the right kid to the right place for soccer practice, I'm still going be taking Adderall. And when I'm trying to remember the numbers they just said for bingo at my nursing home, I'm still going to be taking Adderall.

So you tell me you're jealous that I get prescribed Adderall? Don't be. I'm jealous that you can drink a cup a coffee and motivate yourself once you lose focus. I'm jealous that the success of your day doesn't depend on whether or not you took a pill that morning. The idea of waking up and performing a full day without my medicine is foreign to me.

My brain works in two modes, and I don't know which one is the right one. I don't know which mode is the one the big man upstairs wants me to operate in. So before you say you want to be prescribed to Adderall, ask yourself if you need and want to operate in two different modes.

Ask yourself if you want to rely on medicine to make your entire life work. If I had a choice, I would choose coffee like the rest of the world.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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10 Ways English Majors Are Figuratively, NOT Literally, Ted Mosby

To write or to read, that is the question all English majors must face when working on homework.


Rather you're an English major or lit major or a writing major, there are a few things that we all have in common. And if you watched "How I Met Your Mother," you probably related to Ted Mosby more than you wished to.

1. Restraining yourself for correct people's text


It's you're not your and it irritates me to no end.

2. Not understanding the difference between an English major and an English writing or English literature major


My friend from another school is an English major and I'm an English writing major. I still don't know what the difference is.

3. Having one grammar rule that you care a lot about


Whether it be "your vs. you're," "affect vs. effect," or "literally vs. figuratively," there's a good chance you go crazy throughout your day.

4. Writer's block


Especially because your grade counts on it. Although, it won't be fun when it turns into your job depending on it.

5. Having to write all genres in one class


Even though you prefer one genre and hate the others.

I don't care for nonfiction tbh.

6. Workshops


Not your best moments.

7. Knowing how impossible it is to have a favorite book


It's like picking a favorite child... but worse.

8. Feeling bad when you forget grammar rules


Are you even an English major???

9. People telling you your major is the easiest one


I get it, but at the same time, we can have a lot of work to do. We just drown in papers, reading assignments, research projects, presentations and portfolios. I still prefer it to exams and labs.

10. Figuring out life


Honestly, there's too many things I want to do for a career and I can't pick AND each one is under my major. It is a nice problem to have. But hey I can run away from making a choice until the time comes.

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