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7 Signs It’s Fall at JMU

Fall is officially upon us. You know what that means: leaves change colors, sweater weather, and Starbucks maintains their stronghold on the basic white girl market with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes. These signs are found everywhere. However, some signs that it is fall are unique to JMU. Here are seven of them that you might just see.


7.) JMU reminding you basketball season is coming up:

Nothing says fall in Harrisonburg quite like JMU incessantly reminding everyone that JMU basketball season will start soon. These reminders come in a variety of forms including emails, PSAs at the football games, or ads in the papers that no one reads. These reminders will continue all fall and will not stop until every single JMU student goes to every single game until the end of the season.


6.) Classmates withdrawing:

As JMU’s October 26 deadline to drop a class with a “W” approaches, struggling students at James Madison will take advantage of the opportunity to reduce their schedule load or save their GPA from a failing grade. Take note of who is in your class, soon you might notice that that student who keeps falling asleep during your PSYC 101 or HTH 100 lecture no longer comes catches their z’s while you learn.

5.) Everyone is still here:

Unlike UVA, ODU, Virginia Tech, and William and Mary, JMU doesn’t have any sort of fall break. While students from other schools in Virginia were at home relaxing with their family, JMU students were hard at work, hoping to be given a chance to rest. However, these hopes did not– and will never– come true, forcing them to wait until Thanksgiving for a chance to do nothing.


4.) Students pack ECL and Carrier:

As is true for every fall, this year JMU students took their annual migration to ECL and Carrier to study for their upcoming midterms. These students set up permeant residence in these libraries, leaving only to go to class or to occasionally eat. Many say that if anyone in Harrisonburg stops and listens, they will hear the sounds of tear, stress, and failure emanating  from the libraries.  


3.) Pledges forced to do stupid shit:

With pledging  in full swing, pledges everywhere will be forced to endure extreme humiliation. Whether it be the basketball pledge, the plank pledge, or the red wagon pledge,  you’ll catch them traversing everywhere on campus looking like dumbasses. Or, of course they also could be ruining JMU’s reputation by ranking freshmen girls by attractiveness. JMU students never quite know what they’ll see from these frat hopefuls. Meanwhile, these pledges endure all these punishments in hopes of one day being recognized as enough of a shithead to join a club for shitheads.


2.) Halloweekend:

University students from all over Virginia converge in Harrisonburg to observe how the masters of Halloween do it. Nobody does Halloween quite like the students of JMU. Between the costumes, decorations, and collectively drinking enough alcohol to fill a lake, Harrisonburg is the most lit place in Virginia on Halloweekend.


1.) Thanksgiving Break:

After the Halloweekend hangover subsides, JMU students look forward to a nice relaxing time at home over Thanksgiving Break. With no Fall Break, the Thanksgiving Break comes at a much-needed time. Nothing helps shake off stress quite like enjoying a nice meal while reconnecting with the family. That, or getting together with friends and getting drunk for a week straight.


Fall in Harrisonburg truly is a unique time of year. These signs are everywhere at JMU and are quite distinct.  Make sure to keep an eye out for these seven events. You might just notice things that you didn’t before.


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