George Mason University Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Embry

Do not base what college you send your child to on the tuition costs but rather make sure to visit each interested university and get a feel for the campus, the student life and the faculty. Also do alot of research on different sites such as ratemyprofessors.com to get insight on what students at the universities think of their professors. Nothing is harder on a student than a professor that is not enthusiastic because they are in the classroom rather than out in the field doing research. Tuition costs obviously play an important role but in my experience the cheapest is not always the best for the student even if it is the easiest for the family as a whole. There are various ways of paying for an education and people should definitely explore as those possibilities. The key to a good education is to start looking ahead of time. Begin searching while the student is in high school so that you will be more prepared for when they graduate and the student will not have to spend alot of time transferring because they don't like their school.

Yvonne

During the application, do not put all your hopes into one school. Always have a backup school. Make sure you choose a school that you have already visited and could possibly see yourself going there. Once in college, it is very easy stray away from the academic aspect. Remain focused on your academics and remember that your parents are not paying your college tuition for you to socialize and party all the time. Get involved in campus actvities and organizations; it is a great way to meet new people and also learn more about yourself as an individual.

Antoinette

go with what fits for you, make sure it is your choice and not anyone elses

Latoya

Procrastination...the thief of time as one great mind put it and that is more than true. From the time I first applied to school until now, procrastination has always been prevelant. I lost grant and finacial aid money due to the fact that I procrastinated. One word of advice is to get everything done as soon as possible and you don't have to worry about meeting deadlines. Coming from a very low income family i did not always have the money to process application fees and send transcripts and I feel as if I missed out on a lot. But in the end I made the right choice. As far as the college experience I would say don't succumb to peer pressure. I fortunately have not ran into any peer pressure here at Mason, well not any bad peer pressure that is. You are not pressured into doing anything you don't want to do but it is available. On my campus I know that alcohol is every where you turn and it is free but never have I been pressured to drink by an individual. All in all, college is an amazing experience!

Paula

Try to figure out your interests first and then try to find the college that focuses around that. Keep in mind if you want to be around family, urban or rural areas, and also keep in mind to be in an area where you can go to work, intern, or etc. that is near your school. It won't help if you go to a rural school far from any orgs. or insititutions that can help you get your foot in the door.

Willie

I would first look at the quality of the education you are recieving relative to the amount of money you will be paying for it. If money is not a problem for you then I would look at the social life of the school. While college is for obtaining a higher education, college is a truely unique time in one's life when they will change completely as a person. This aspect needs to be taken into consideration just as much as the actual education they are recieving. Also, while a big school might appeal to most kids, I would recommend looking into smaller schools. That doesn't mean that you should know everyone there by the time you graduate, but smaller classes along with a tighter knit community really makes a difference in the way you learn and you will likely come out of better off. To make the most out of your time at college, I would recommend doing as many things on campus as you can manage. Don't get too over loaded but make sure that you make relationships with other students and faculty outside of the classroom.

Anya

I would tell students and/or parents who are seeking the proper educational facility to meet their learning needs that they shouldn't spend lengthy amounts of time searching for the right college; the answer will come in time. One can look through hundreds of college catalogues and still find nothing that interests them, only to find that the local college offers exactly what they need and it was there all along, ignored due to its close proximity to home or another such reasons. An exciting college experience can happen anywhere; it depends on the person who is making it happen, not their environment, although it does influence it at times. As long as the student is open-minded and focused on achieving their set goals, the 'college experience' will fall into place. It's not the college that shapes the experience; it's the student himself. Contrary to popular belief, a student's life and future are always in his hands, regardless of expensive out-of-state tuition or endless campus-finder catalogues they've browsed.

Olivera

Don't go to college for someone else. Go for yourself and go for that, which you honestly in your heart want to learn more about. This is your experience, your life, and your chance to change the world around you!

Lan

Choosing institution to continue your post-secondary education is critical. There are many important factors to consider if a particular college/university is right for you. First of all, make sure that the institution of your choice has diverse programs related to your preferred field of study. For example, if you major in Science, then pick the school that has variety of science-related courses in which you can freely choose from. Also, it allows your learning experience to be enhanced. Secondly, consider school size and its location. Personally speaking, I prefer attending school in urban area, surrounded by drug stores, food markets, entertainment places, restaurants and so on because it is extremely convenient to find things I want. In general, I think your major diversity and life styles should be primary factors in choosing the right university for you.

Megan

Whatever school you end up at will become the "right" school if you make the most of it. Follow your heart but also think practically. Embrace every opportunity you are presented with while at college. Be outgoing and open-minded. Also be conscientious and responsible--this is more important to doing well academically than being smart. Do your best, and have fun!

Maria

I would say that parents should let their kids decide where they want to go and where they will fit in. It should not be based on where the parents want them to go or where the parents can afford because there are so many opportunities for students to get scholarships or financial aid. Kids should be able to go to their dream school.

Rebecca

go with first instincts and best judgement

Adrienne

In order to truely find the right college for an indiviual a lot self evaluation must be conducted. It is important to take into mind what type of career you are leaning towards or have decided. There are many different schools that offer extremely exceptional focused programs, so research is nessesary. It is also very important to factor in your financial abilities, then move on from there. Though you may feel that it would be so much easier and fun to go to a college with your friends, it ultimately could hold you back. I went to college with my two best friends, and though I love them to death I find when you are thrown into a new situation like college it is best to venture on alone. In college you are expected to step out of your box and grow. Unfortunatley it is less likely for you to go and find new friends when you are using your current ones as a crutch. College is a time to expand your mind and body,to grow as a person. This can best be achieved by doing whats hard, branching out on your own, alone and experiencing college for yourself.

Leo

Always get the inside scoop from someone attending the college that has similar interests and goals as your own or your childs.

Soo

Not getting into the college you wished for, is alright. My goal was to attend NYU for business, however, there were some complications and therefore I attended Mason. I thought being located in NY would be a great opportunity for me, because there are so many successful businesses around the university. After I decided to attend Mason, I learned that the undergraduate school doesn't matter so much as long as I do well in my field. Mason also has many opportunities for students and it is located in a great area. D.C. is only a short distance away and the area also allows students to have jobs experiences and I've also had amazing internships. It's a good idea to visit the college before you decide to attend it, because there are some college where you get the feeling "Ah, this is for me!" and others where you don't feel like you'd adjust well. Every college experience is different and not every college is a party school as long as your learn to be responsible and to stay focused at the task at hand; with that you'll be able to suceed and do well.

Daniela

Choosing the best college for you is very important so i suggest visiting several colleges before choosing one. Make a list of what is important to you in a college. For example food quality, social life, location and so on. Try to find a college that you feel like you fit in with the people because that will also shape your college experience. When I was considering if I should go to George Mason or another school I considered the diversity at Mason and size compared that of another school. I am very happy with my decision but it is a decision that needs to be thought out and taken very seriously.

Blake

Find the school that lights up your child's face when they walk on the campus. That is all.

jenny

The first thing a student should do is to visit the college during an open house tour. This is the best way to get a feel for the environment and see if you could really fit in. Second, make sure the school provides for the needs for your major; attend a school that meets to your academic needs, not social needs. Finally, make money no issue. There are always chances for scholarships and loans so the financial part should not hold you back on what college to attend.

Katherine

My advice to student who are looking for the right college is to visit all the colleges you are interested in. It's ok to be undeclared your freshman year. The thing to remember, though, is that you have to make yourself happy. Choose the school you feel is right for you. If you go to a school you do not like, you will not be happy while your there and less likely to succeed or even graduate. You have to do what's right for you, not for your parents. My advice to parents is to not pressure you child. They are stressed out all ready and more nervous and scared than you can imagine. You need to be there to help guide them because they will have many questions and need constant advice on the things they are about to experience. Know, however, that you've raised a great child who is capable of making informed decisions.

Georgette

First word of advice when choosing a college is to describe yourself in five words. When you are interested in a college, think if this college could accomodate to those five words that describe you. No college is completley bad, but if your not happy, that is how it will seem to you. The question is not what college is the best; it is what college is the best for YOU. Your academic success and overall happiness relies on this decision so make sure you dedicate a good amount of time thinking about your decision and how it will effect both you and your family. Remember, college years are supposed to be some of the best in your life.

Michelle

Look around before you choose. Go to the desired schools and see what appeals to you such as size, atmosphere, etc. See which schools have the programs you are most likely wanted to get involved with.

Rachel

Don't be afraid to branch out and make friends. Everyone is just as nervous as you are about being in a new environment, yet you won't get anywhere by staying locked up in your room and silent. Speak, be friendly. However, don't be afraid to be yourself. If you act the way you truly are, you'll find where you belong among people sooner rather than later. Keep in touch with your parents on a daily to weekly basis; they miss you whether they admit it or not. Who knows? You'll probably end up getting a little homesick in return. Appreciate every moment of your new life in college...the days pass quickly. Don't stress out about assignments, but don't procrastinate too much either. Don't overeat, and stay active!

Carina

College is expensive. Look at all aspects of a college before you invest, not only the money, but also your valuable time, in the school.

Monica

Do not get distracted or caught up with your idea of what college should be like. Too many high school seniors want to attend a "party school." Instead, the most important thing to keep in mind is to look closely at each college to decide which is the best choice for you or your student.

Denelle

The college selection process is a long, stressfull ordeal to say the least. With all the time and effort being put into finding the "perfect one" out of thousands of schools, how does anyone ever know for sure that they have found it? In the end, it usually comes to you. This is not to say that all that time and energy was wasted. On the contrary; that time and energy narrowed down from what was once thousands, to around five to ten compatible schools. Of these schools, regardless of where the acceptance letters come fluttering in from, any one will likely be an enjoyable college experience. From here it is simply a matter of approach; of taking on this new chapter of life, ready for a good experience. Those who walk in, embracing the change in their lives, and ready to take on the challenge that is college will succeed no matter where they decide to go. In the end, it is not the college that makes the experience, but the student.

Matthew

When picking a college or university make sure price isn't the reason you are picking the school. You can't go cheapily on your education. It is worth paying more for a school if is the one that you think you can get the best education at. Diversity in the community at the college is important because you can learn the most from other people. The experiences/life stories that they can tell you is amazing.

Rodney

Find one that the kid will enjoy, not the one necessarily the cheapest or the most recommended. You are putting a lot of money and hard work for the next 4 years. You mine as well do it somewhere that's worth it.

Mary

Visit several colleges before you make your final decision, just because a school that you have never even set foot on is offering you a lot of money to go there, it might not be the right fit for you. The atmosphere of the college is one of the most important factors to consider when making your choice. You want a college that has courses in the major you might be considering and you want it to be somewhere that you will feel comfortable. If you don't feel comfortable you will be miserable and probably end up transfering to the school that probably was right for you from the beginning. Once you get to college, make friends with the people on your hall and people in your classes. Don't seclude yourself in your room too much. Most importantly make sure you keep up with all of your school work. Falling behind will just stress your out and make college life seem so much harder than it is. So in summary, enjoy college but don't forget about what you are really there for, to learn.

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