The campus is beautiful and full of wonderful places to explore. However, it is large and can be intimidating for new students. Early on your student should walk around and learn the various academic buildings, eating and exercise facilities, residence halls, and offices. Your student should receive a personalized MAPPY from their FROG during orientation. It is okay for them to walk around with their campus map and plot a course to their classes finding the fastest way to make it to each class on time (or even early) even though they may think it is “not cool.” There will be many students navigating with a campus map for their first couple of days/weeks. Roommates, suitemates, and hallmates are great people to walk around with and as they walk and talk together they will get to know each other.
As your student gets to know JMU any fears they had about the campus (where they will eat, sleep, exercise and go to class) will begin to dissipate. Figuring out what’s what and where in advance can be great stress reliever. Note: Tell your student to take off the headphones as they walk around campus and remind them, “Heads Up Dukes!” at crosswalks. This will help them be more aware of their surroundings and help them to be more open to others as they have personal contact on the sidewalks or in the buildings. Many students, staff, and faculty will smile, say hello, or even engage in conversations with others on campus.