I Loved Being a FROG, But…

By Taylor Hudson

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Photo Credit: James Madison University

Being a FROG is seen as a quintessential experience for a JMU student, and I am not going to disagree. For those of you who want to be a FROG, I say do it. This past summer, I was one and dove headfirst into the sea of camaraderie and friendships that come with it.

But fair warning: there are some “buts” about the entire experience that they don’t tell you about. Or at least some things you don’t expect, though, that are bound to happen.

1. I loved being “mama-hen” to over 20 freshman guys, but… you will forever be that “mama-hen.” It’s time to accept the fact that those parental-like feelings will probably not disappear. Every time I see a status update about how one of my first years received a bid to a fraternity, my first thought is, “I’m so proud!” When anxiety-ridden tweets drowned my newsfeed during their first finals week, my first inclination was to shower them with food and energy drinks. And come on—how do you turn down a first-year when they text you asking for rides to get a hair cut, or to fulfill a prescription during flu season? You don’t. That’s exactly my point. Motherly (or for you guys, fatherly) instincts will exist to some degree and won’t disappear, so you might as well accept it now.

2. I love my FROG partner, but… we are two totally different people. He’s tall. I’m short. He’s blonde. I’m brunette. He’s a science major. I’m a SMAD major. He’s an only child. I’m the oldest of five. He’s an extrovert. I’m an introvert. I could go on but you get the picture; we are very different. However, I loved the fact that we are so different because it made us a great team. It was a yin and yang relationship, and it worked. Sometimes differences are what truly make a friendship flourish.

3. I love showing my school spirit, but… I was exhausted. Maintaining the hyper, school-spirited, and positive FROG image is hard work, and it is even harder after moving in boxes for 8 hours, after 3 hours of sleep, and nothing but D-Hall coffee. By the end of the day, the affirmation you receive from parents for making move-in day a welcoming and smooth experience is unbeatable. In my opinion, it is worth the watered-down coffee and back sweat.

4. I love the FROG dance, but… it will forever ruin the Top 40 Song list for you. Seriously—if I hear “22” by Taylor Swift or “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, my natural response is to break out into dance. You will forever hate “that one song” because it reminds you of that “one move” that you could never quite get. Sorry Ke$ha, but “Die Young” and I will never be on good terms again.

5. I love the friendships I made with my fellow FROGs, but… I hardly ever see them anymore. Our schedules are always packed. Everyone is always busy with classes. Or jobs. Or clubs. Or homework. Yet, you know what’s great? Even though I barely see them anymore, they are the few people I know will always say “hi” to or give a huge hug if we happen to pass by each other on the Quad (and, I may be a little bias but, they are the best huggers). I guess it is true what they say—absence makes the heart grow fonder.

If you want to be a FROG, do it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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