Freshman Claustrophobia

by Molly Robinson

Sometimes living in a dorm can be fun- you might room with a friend and have some fun people to hang out with across the hall. All you need to do if you want some one to get a bight to eat with is just knock on a few doors and chances are that someone else is hungry too.

But there’s a different side of dorm life. There’s undeniable fact that the person next door to you knows more than you would like them to know about your life just because of close living quarters, word of mouth, and hallway gossip. There’s also the possibility that you’ll be stuck around people you wouldn’t have chosen to be around in your wildest dreams. Initially, there’s also this assumption that you should hang out with the people you live around because, as a freshman, you’re ignorant to the fact that, while proximity is convenient, it does not encompass the quality of other people that exist beyond your hallway in such a large undergraduate population.

Living in a dorm is one thing, but not having a car in another. Some days feeling absolutely suffocated is not out of the question- on a freezing cold Friday night there is a very little list of things to do if you don’t want to brave the weather to walk across campus to some free event. Whereas, if you had your car, you could spend the evening at a coffee shop in down-town Harrisonburg or scope out a new movie at Regal. A few days of weather in the late 60s, peaking at 70s is a nice break from the indoors of classrooms and dorm rooms for those who live on campus without cars. A walk on the quad in shorts is a blissful tease of spring, knowing that temperatures are sure to plummet again sometimes soon. The reality is although, on-campus life without a car can sometimes seem limiting, it definitely will be even more rewarding when the upperclassmen years of having your own room and possibly a car to use finally come.

The Big Event

by Elizabeth Short

On Monday, The Breeze printed a front-page article, “On-Campus Block Party?” I just got around to reading the article and at first glance I thought, ‘there is no way that an event like this will be successful at JMU.’ However, as I was reading the article I had a change of thought.  This event has a strong potential of being successful at JMU and it might help to improve our relationship with the Harrisonburg community.

The Big Event is tentatively planned for April 9. (Correction: It’s definitely planned for April 9!) The idea behind the event is that students would go to local neighborhoods and help with home improvement or different neighborhood projects. After the event, the students can possibly look forward to an alternative-Springfest celebration with live music.

I didn’t attend Springfest last year and would never attend one in the future. I know there are many other students at JMU who would say the same thing. The Big Event, as described in The Breeze article, will provide students who do not party a chance to celebrate the beginning of spring and relax with friends. I am now looking forward to The Big Event on April 9!

Anti-Valentine’s Day

by Mike Bock

I, along with what seems like 3% of the JMU student population, will be spending this Valentine’s Day single and alone. It’s easy to see why this day sucks if you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, but I’m here to tell you readers that being single isn’t the worst thing in the world. So put down that half-pint of Chubby Hubby and read a few of the reasons why spending Valentine’s Day alone is awesome:

  1. No fighting about what movie you want to watch. Guys, you won’t have to sit through The Notebook again, and girls, if 300 isn’t your thing, today is your lucky day.
  2. Slackers, take note- you don’t need to worry about not having a reservation for a restaurant.
  3. Since nobody’s buying you chocolate or candy, you don’t have to burn it off at the gym tomorrow. Sorry, Stairmaster, looks like you’ll be spending Valentine’s Day alone, too.
  4. You could get a lot of homework done. Actually, this isn’t really a benefit.

Valentine’s Day- the hype, happiness, the hydrangeas, and the heavy expectations on one day of celebration

by Molly Robinson

The end of January can be compared to the end of the November, but instead of the green and red bombarding every surface imaginable, red, pink, and white invade from frosting on the cookies and cupcakes in the grocery store to the heart decorations on the windows.

It seems to me like every American holiday gets commercialized. The focus of the holiday shifts from why it exists and the reasoning behind celebrating to material goods and a lot space-filler junk- paper decorations, gifts without meaning, and excess food just because it’s a holiday, of course. So how did a story about Emperor Claudius II outlawing marriage in order to promote soldiers and the military, and, then, ordering the death of a priest named Valentine who went against the law to marry couples in love go to “Here, toots, here’s your box of chocolate?” Over time, our society has made Valentine’s day a routine, flavor of the month.

But, when push comes to shove, what the public makes of Valentine’s Day doesn’t really matter. Everyone knows Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, and everyone does celebrate it. The people who celebrate “Anti-Valentine’s Day” parties celebrate the company of friends who all happen to dislike the open expression of love.  Some spend it with their families and celebrate a different kind of company. Others will spend it on the couch alone watching their favorite movie with ice cream, celebrating what makes them happy. Others will spend it with a significant other, celebrating what they have together. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be cliché, it can be an expression the people or things that make for the good in life, and the word love definitely falls under that category because we all couldn’t live without it.

Undergrad- Make or Break

by Molly Robinson

There are so many varying opinions about what undergrad means for the individual. Some say it means nothing and that it’s just a time in your life to have fun and get blanket degree. Others insist that it is the gateway to success in life in that how well one does academically leads to what programs, jobs, graduate, and medical schools they get into. Still, another way undergrad is presented is that it is an outlet for personal growth suggesting that dorm life, classes that allow for personal time management, and the ability to choose how spend free time independently allow for discovery of self meaning.

Whatever the varying opinions, it is pretty apparent that the undergrad experience isn’t one way or the other- it’s simply what you make it. One could spend their entire college life outside of class in their room and not take in any significant meaning apart from what they have already experienced. Or, instead, they could be involved in every student organization possible: meeting people, gaining connections, and being completely consumed in the atmosphere. Still, there is always the avenue of getting by classes, and simply finding an amazing group of friends that are unique to you compared the drones of students. There is no winner in theses scenarios because undergrad is four years of one’s life (in most cases) and it’s a matter of choice in labeling it a phase, chuck of time, defining moment, or critical period.  Maybe it’s only our futures that will tell whether undergrad will or will not be the end-all-be-all.

Spring Break

by Elizabeth Short

Although still three weeks a way, it seems as though spring break is just around the corner. Last year I went on a cruise with three friends and we made our plans about six months in advance. But this year, since we went all out last year, we decided to go to Myrtle Beach. Even though it is not a cruise, I know that the four of us will still have a blast. After being in the planning process for about three months now, just yesterday we received final confirmation on our trip!

I am now counting down the days until I’m driving down to Myrtle Beach for a week of warm weather and relaxation.  However, before I can even begin thinking about what to pack and what to do while there, I need to concentrate on all the work I have to do for classes.

Where will you be spending your spring break… At home? In Harrisonburg? Or somewhere warm?

VIP Tickets

by Mike Bock

If you told me two weeks ago that I would end up using Facebook for anything other than wasting time, I would have recommended that you get your head examined. Imagine my surprise when I received an invitation from “JMU’s Class of 2011” Facebook group to enter a contest for free VIP basketball tickets for Saturday’s game against VCU, and won later that day.

As it turns out, winning VIP tickets is pretty sweet. There was a catch, of course- myself and the other fifteen seniors who won had to sit through a sales pitch for the Duke Club (which is sort of like the Student Duke Club, except for the fact that the people in the Duke Club actually have money to donate to JMU sports.) However, once that presentation was over, we were able to fully utilize the lunch, which was catered by Local Chop and Grill House, and the open bar located in the Hospitality room. Even though the game turned out to be a heartbreaking loss for the Dukes, I had a great time and would definitely do it again.

I’m not sure that there’s a moral to this story, other than the fact that it doesn’t hurt to check Facebook more often.

 

The Heart and Soul of James Madison University