For the Freshmen

We’ve all heard the questions. What’s your major going to be? Where are you going to college? What do you wanna be? What can you do with that degree? We’ve all wanted those questions to end too.

Well, now they have, and you’re here at Michigan State in the James Madison College. Welcome, my name is Ben Schroff and I, just like you, was a freshman. Just last year, in fact. It’s quite a difference coming from home and living here. It’s a strange new place, maybe even in a different country or state. But you’re here and you’re excited, and maybe even a bit nervous. But the adjustment is quick.

At James Madison your classes are designed to build a community. Small classes, big classes with recitation, and the beginning of the year community service project are all put in place to help orient you to the James Madison community. Living in Case Hall is another way the college attempts to associate you with your fellow Madisonians. Need to work on a group project? The other members of your group are either on your floor or on another floor in the building. You can easily meet in the caf or in a study lounge. These people become your friends. Very soon all your fears, doubts and anxieties will fade to excitement, confidence and interest. James Madison provides many opportunities to fulfill your academic goals and even your social goals.

I was personally terrified when I first came to State. I was happy to be away from my parents, of course, but there was the archetypal fear of not fitting in, of not making friends. Within a few weeks these fears were put to bed once I started my classes and made a few friends. Eventually my floor was a big happy family and Madison classes were intriguingly interactive. James Madison went from a mysterious entity to a comfortable home. Cliché, I know, but you get the point. You get comfortable and you start to enjoy where you are and what you’re doing.

Another asset to your Madison experience is us, the James Madison Student Senate. We’re here to help you with any questions you may have, set up different events that range from academic co-curriculars to social events, to represent you to professors regarding curriculum, and provide other services. Need a Blue Book? We got ‘em. Have a question about an event? We got answers. Want to buy a ticket for Charity Ball? If it’s the season, we got ‘em.

Eventually the questions will come again. What are you going to do now that you’ve graduated? Are you going on to Law School? Do you have a job yet? Are you staying in state? And then it’ll be time to move on to the next great adventure, and you’ll always look back on your James Madison experience and remember the good ole days.


Ben Schroff is a Social Relations and Policy and Comparative Cultures and Politics sophomore serving as a senator in the SRP Caucus and is our Social Programming chair.


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