8 Lesser-Known JMU Rites Of Passage
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Student Life

8 Lesser-Known JMU Rites Of Passage

What your FROGS can't tell you about!

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8 Lesser-Known JMU Rites Of Passage
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During FROG week, your FROGs and OPAs told you all about JMU traditions and rites of passage. Your first late-night breakfast, painting the rock on East Campus, student org nights, your first buffalo mash at D Hall (rest in peace), throwing streamers at touchdown. These are some really beautiful traditions and paint a picturesque portrait of your life as a college student. But what about the things all Dukes go through that your FROGs don't bring up? That's what I'm here for.


1. The first time you see the MRDs do the thing at D Hall.

You're at Dhub. You're eating. Suddenly the table of previously normal-looking kids at the next table over starts pounding the table and chanting "sweets. Sweets. SWEETS. SWEETS!!" and even if a kind Marching Royal Friend has already warned you about this tradition, you're goddamn terrified. What if today's the day they decide to sacrifice a freshman instead of eating cookies?! But then they come back with their peanut butter pie and their frozen custard and you wonder if it was all a Cafe Roma-induced hallucination.

2. The first time you accidentally make eye contact above a super-short bathroom stall.

Whether it's in Carrier or your own dorm (looking at you, Lakeside) this is an awkward situation that you're never prepared for. What do you do?? Do you maintain eye contact?? Do you ask them how their bowel movement went? Do you start screaming the Game of Thrones theme song and challenge them to a toilet paper duel?? That's what I usually do, but shockingly it hasn't made the situation any less awkward!!

3. The first time you see Unicycle Guy.

The man. The myth. The legend. Everyone seems to have some degree of separation from unicycle guy--their friend had a class with him, their cousin works with him, their big lives in the same apartment complex as him--but seeing him yourself feels almost holy. Finally, he's transcended mythical status and has appeared in front of you. Maybe he whizzes by you on the Quad. Maybe you see him out the bus window, racing down the village hill. Either way, this confirmation of his existence has changed your life.

4. The first time you get lost on East Campus.

You could be a biology and physics double major who lives in Potomac and works in ECL and this will STILL happen to you. Despite being the "modernized" part of campus, it's confusing as hell. All the buildings look alike, half the doors don't actually work, take one wrong turn and you're somehow behind E-Hall, and let's not forget that vortex between ECL and Festival. You think you finally have your bearings when suddenly there's a road and a bus stop and a bus honking at your lost, confused self. Then you're in a full body cast for three months. Not that I would know. Stop asking.

5. The first time you realize tailgates aren't really all that fun.

Crowds? Heavy sunlight? Cheap beer? Drunk frat boys? Too much music coming from too many different boom boxes? It's not my scene. And even if it's YOUR scene, you have to admit that at least once, you've looked around and thought "I could be getting drunk at home in my pajamas right now. This is too loud. There's more beer on my fight song t-shirt than in my stomach. I wanna go home and watch Cutthroat Kitchen."

6. The first time you throw a penny in the Burruss fountain.

We've all done it. It's not a wishing well, though. Is there a difference between an overly decorated wishing well and a water fountain though? This question has plagued us for generations. I think Nietzsche wrote a dissertation on that, actually.

7. The first time a Quad Cat runs away from you.

This is the most pain you will ever feel. You want to think that you'll be different--you love cats! You have a calm demeanor! Jimmy and Dolly will love you!--but no. These felines are fickle creatures, scared of man, woman, and everything in between. It is a blessed person who can pet one of our unofficial mascots for more than five seconds.

8. The first time you're piss-drunk and see Wilson all lit up.

This is a divine moment. Whether or not you're able to stand up, you stop in the middle of the Quad and you just stare. You're here. You're staring at our trademark building. Wilson Hall, the star of brochures, Instagram, and Snapchat geotags--and you can see why. Wilson is gorgeous, especially at night. Even if JMU isn't an Ivy League, it's iconic. And you're here. Holy crap, you're here, and you're drunk, and you're happy, and this campus is so beautiful, and you're a Duke and you're drunk and you're doing your best and you're part of James Madison's legacy. Wow.


If you haven't experienced these rites of passage yet, don't worry! You're as much a Duke as any other student. But consider this your miniature bingo card as you go through an unforgettable four (or five, or six) years here in the 'Burg.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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