George Mason University Top Questions

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


If I could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself not to listen to all the people that discouraged me from applying to competitive schools. I would tell myself to apply to more and better colleges because now I know, I can succeed in that environment. I would stress to myself the importance of establishing credit as early as possible and to apply for a credit card now, to get loans for college in the fall. I think that if someone had given me this advice earlier, it would have helped me reach my true potential, helped me pay for college and save me a lot of stress. This is probably the best advice I could give myself as a high school senior about college and the transition.


I advise freshman to do several things before they start their first day of college. I will offer a list with a detailed description of all freshman should do: 1. Believe everything posted in the Unigo reviews. These reviews prevented my first week at George Mason from being a surprise. I knew to expect some of the campus food to be less than nutritious at times. I heard from upperclassmen that the campus food used to be worse at this school. Also, the reviews helped me to cope with the less than friendly major of students and enjoy my time here. 2. Read all the great college prep information. Go these following sites:,,,,, and several other sites. These sites offer students college tips, and it helps them to effectively navigate through their first year. More importantly, they learn time management skills to apply throughout college. 3. Research and visit the Office of Disability Services. This advice is most important to students with disabilities. Be sure to update and bring all important documentation to the office. Then the office will set up an appointment, so students can register to receive their accommodations. Being registered offers several advantages like registering for classes on the first day, being eligible to Delta Alpha Pi (Disability Honor Society), and meet with other students with similar challenges. Importantly, the accommodations also help with housing, particularly with getting single rooms. 4. Register at the earliest and most available date. This is very important to increase the chances of getting into the important and more desired courses. Also, try to register for more classes than needed. This will help with the decision process while deciding classes. 5. Apply for housing early. To do this, read all the directions then apply. This will alleviate a lot of trouble later on. Often times, housing might offer the better housing options to those who apply early. Importantly, be sure to put in housing preferences.


The advice I would give myself would be to not be so timid or shy in the beginings. I would say the biggest part wold just be yourself, be who you are and people will like you for that. I would also say that its ok to take a step away from the books every now and then and just go out and see a movie wth friends or just overall relax. Your first year is a year to start over from all the High School drama and really just open up to who you want to be and continue to search for that. The fall would be the best time to really add an extra class because with spring being your season it makes it easier to balance school and sports that way. When in doubt always talk with your coach they are there to help and will point you in the right directions. I would also say do more listening with your ears rather then your mouth you will find things to be much easier that way as well. Overall just have fun, be safe and follow your heart.


I would tell myself to take the time and develop proper study habits. Without the proper study habits, my first semester of college was extremely difficult, and while i was able to catch up on material eventually, if i had good study habits from the begining then i would not have had such an issue. Study habits are the most important thing in college. Just being smart is not enough. I would tell myself not to be so proud of my brains, because in college almost everyone is smart, it all comes down to who studied more.


Get involved, even if you do not feel like going to something, often this is where you meet the people that will be your friends. Try new clubs and schedule activities so you do not have time to be homesick. Get out of your dorm to do your homework and go to the library and make study groups with others who are hard workers and want to recieve a good grade. Enjoy what you are learning and look forward to class, this will give you a sense of purpose and make it easier to learn the information. Stay true to yourself, don't let anyone tell you that you have to change. Relax and have some fun with those that you enjoy being around, a best friend is just around the corner.


I would tell myself to practice staying on top of my work in my senior year and learn how to study effectively.


Transitions are tough, no matter where you go to college. Remember that it is a journey, you will struggle at times, but always know who you are, and respect who you will become. When you get to college join organizations, find activities you like, because that is where you will find people like you. These people will become life long friends, and show you things you never thouht of. Finally, take chances, step outside your comfort zone, this is your chance to explore the world see others' perspectives and form your own opinions. Don't be afraid, this is your first time on your own trust your gut and you'll make the right choices. And do not forget, you have love from your family which will get you through anything.


If I could go back in time to June 2006, when I was a senior in high school, I would tell myself that getting to know those around you is very important. Making friends and acquaintances is just as important as the lecture at hand. Knowing people alows you to network your ideas and turn them into realities. People are so much more accomodating and understanding when they know where you are coming from. It is so important to have your voice heard, and to prove to others why you stand out from the rest. If I could go back in time I would say hello to that person I sat next to all year, or the student with no one to eat lunch with. I am finally learning the importance of meeting new people and helping others to the best of my ability. I am surprised just how much a stranger has to offer you from their knowledge, and the friendship or business relationship that you can build from that.


I would tell myself to go above and beyond what the high school asked me to complete. I would create better study habits and find a way to take better notes in class and practice it.


If I could talk to my self as a senior, there are quite a few things I would tell myself. First, I would say: Do not be afraid of growing up and responsibility. It really is not as challenging adults tell you in high school. Just be smart and think logically, the rest should come naturally. Teacher often tell seniors that college is the hardest challenge we will ever face, and many students fail. Do not listen to them; college is as hard as you make it. When it comes to academics, the biggest piece of advice I can pass on is to take English class as seriously as possible. Seniors do not realize just how much writing college involves. You write essays in every subject you take. Learn how to write concisely and quickly, and how to organize your thoughts clearly on paper. A solid writer will come out ahead in college. The last advice I would give is to be as outgoing as possible. Be outgoing to friends, hall mates, teachers, and strangers. Contacts and networks equal success in the professional world. The more people you know, the better your opportunities are.


Stones in your path are not things to trip over and lament about. They are opportunities to examine your path and choose the right direction toward your destiny.


Get yourself a planner or organizer. Write down everything and stay organized. Do not procrastinate. Plan ahead and always be thinking. Partying is great, but study harder. Take advantage of every single extra credit opportunity given. Be respectful to all your professors and let them know that you really care to learn. Don't skip class and treat all your fellow students with respect. Take notes in class and if you need a recorder, use one. If you feel that you are spending more time on Facebook than reading through your books, delete your Facebook -- don't worry, your friends who truly matter will keep in touch somehow. Keep track of all the important due dates. Study in advance for all quizzes and exams. Always use spell-check. Do not sleep in class. Make sure you put your phone on vibrate before all your classes. Try to come to all your classes-lectures on time. Be prepared for anything. If you need help, just ask. Introduce yourself to your professors on the first day and email if you have any questions. Take advantage of all resources. Don't cheat, ever. Enjoy every single day and don't forget to smile.


As a Freshman in college, I am often looking back on my high school years, as they are so recent, and thinking of what I could have done differently to make this transition easier. I can honestly say that I can look bck upon my senior year and have no regrets with one exception, simply learning better study habits. Throughout my twelve years of schooling I didn't really need to study to get A's in my classes, so I didn't, and senior year I began to see how my study skills were lacking and holding me back. My grades, while still above average, were not as high as I was used to and I didn't know what to do to fix that. I wish I would have taken the initiative and invested the time fixing my study skills in order to make the transition to the college workload an easier one.


As a woman who has raised two daughters, served in the armed forces, acquired an AS Degree, and is now entering the golden years of her life, I absoultely have a lot to say to the high school girl I was. First, remember always that you are a valuable human being. As you step onto the road that will determine your life, it is important to know your true worth. You can accomplish so much more than the limitations you may be tempted to place on yourself. If you choose to become a wife or a parent, this does not mean you cannot grow as an individual. Education is the most important aspect of inner growth that you should never deny yourself. The day you decide to enter life as a college student, you should never think, I can't. The student you were - will not be the student you become. At this stage in your life, your desire to learn, to grow, and to advance should not be hindered by the words, "can I do it?". Know, inl your heart, you can accomplish great things, by taking each day as it comes and living that day to the fullest.


Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if it was perfect? You're currently complaining about it nearly everyday! You will find the world’s imperfection is what makes it perfect. One of your future English professors, Dr. David R. Williams, will tell you the story of Adam & Eve, the perfect world. You'll ask him, “If the world was impeccable to begin with, why are we living in this flawed world now?” You'll learn it is because humans lack appreciation. You'll think the perfect world was inadequate. Can you imagine living in a world where people are unmotivated to do anything? Because we know there is death after life, and vice versa, people have the energy to make life enjoyable. What's unwanted may seem components of imperfection; but you'll see these phenomenon’s are intense driving forces. Stop fretting over why the world is lacking. My argument to you is the world is actually already flawless. The existing motivation humans have to reach perfection, is perfect. Feel at ease. You will become driven to join the movement of people who strive to grasp perfection little by little and you will be happy.


Do not choose schools based on your major and go in as undeclared. You should look as college as a time to explore your options and find out what it is that you really enjoy. If you pick a college based on your major, you may not get that time to widen your horizons. Also, it is possible that you will be dissatisfied with the program your school offers. Pick schools that offer a wide variety of programs and is well rounded to suit all programs.


Hey, self, try to not get so intimidated by filling out scholarship applications because we really need that money. Also, read up on your major and make sure it's what you really want to do. Try and study more for your AP tests (I know it sucks) but if we get a good grade that will save us some time in college! I know it's scary but you really need to try and be more open to things that you haven't done yet. Try and go to at least one frat party, it might suck but at least you can say you've done it. Be more confident and outgoing, don't be afraid to talk to new people. DO NOT live in a triple room, try for a single but settle for a double if that's all you can get. It costs more but it's worth it, BELIEVE ME. Don't be afraid of going to school so far from home, you'll love it. Keep up in school, don't procrastinate (HAHA I KNOW), and try and do something spontaneous every once in a while. Good luck!


SIGN UP FOR SCHOLARSHIPS EARLY! that's the most important thing i would tell myself. My family is in a tough financial situation so if i had signed up for scholarships early on, i wouldn't have to give my parents such a big financial burden. Another thing i would tell myself, is to enjoy the friends I have now since they're all going away the next year. Lastly, if i could go back, i would tell myself to focus on my studies rather than experience senoritis to the fullest.


College is a very important step in your life, so you need to put 100% interest in it and not slack off. Teachers are not going to be as lenient as they are in high school. If the teacher gives you an assignment and its due on a certain day and time, then that assignment has to be turned in at that exact day and time. Your teachers are not going to feel bad for you and give you another deadline, instead you will have to just deal with the bad grade. There is no room to slack off in college, because there is no extra credit to make up for the bad grade you got on your test or quiz. Some classes are only based on four tests and the final so you need to study hard for the tests, because otherwise your overall grade will lower. As a college student the amount of responsibilities will increase, because you are on your own. Your teachers will not be on your back reminding you of what is due. Overall, college will be a great time to grow and learn a lot about yourself that you didn’t know.


Having been through a couple of years of college now, there are several words of advice I could give myself, but the most important thing I would say is to not be afraid of taking risks. This is your time to grow, experience life, make mistakes (and learn from them), and have time. I repeat, this is YOUR TIME! Do not do things for others because you feel obligated to make someone proud or happy. Make yourself happy and know that at the end of the day you did something because it was your choice. Do not let the fear of making a mistake paralyze you from having fun or doing something out of the ordinary. It can be scary to do something new, but you may find a new passion or hobby. Lastly, do not let your confidence waiver when things do not go as planned-- sometimes the best things are complete surprises.


Dear Morgan, Every day spent of your last year in highschool you will remember forever. You wait four years to hear your name called as you walk towards your diploma and towards your future. That moment will forever be bittersweet. In a sad way you will say goodbye to alot of friends, but know you will make even more. Morgan, the best advice I can give you right now is this: do not be scared. When you turned 18, you told your parents you were an adult and they nodded their heads in agreement. However, here is the truth, you will find out what it truly means to be an adult when you go to college. It is so exciting! But it also bears alot of responsibility. Another piece of advice I give to you is this: never forget where you came from, never forget who you are, and never forget the sacrifices made so that you can be the best possible you. Your opportunities in college are endless, trust me you are doing great things, things you did not know you were capabale of. It is really exciting! Enjoy the rest of your senior year! Love, Morgan


As a high school senior I was very nervous about if my college experience would be exactly like my high school experience (which would not be such a great thing in my case). Knowing what I know now makes me feel a lot better about my choice. If I could go back to my "senior self" and have a talk I'd say that the adjustment would not be nearly as hard as I think it is. I would talk about how in the college I'm going to you do not have to feel like you are going to be judged for being different. If that were the case, nobody at the university would be friends. I would let myself know that though I want to do very well academically it should not consume my entire life. Academics are only one part of the college experience. Everything else includes the life-long friendships, the bonding, the alma mater spirit, and even those days where you and your friends are just chilling in the residence halls. I would let myself know that mistakes are meant to be made and the important thing is to learn from them.


College isn't as easy as I assumed it was going to be 5 years ago as a high school senior. If I could go back and talk to myself, I would let me know that studying is a necessity. You can't go through college without cracking at least ONE book like you did in high school. Be social and get to know the people in your classes and dorms. They can really help you out in the long run and can turn out to be lifelong friends. Be flexible. Life throws cuveballs at you all the time and you probably won't be prepared for it. Don't stress yourself out. Everything will turn out fine. Pursue what you love. A career isn't worth it if it doesn't make you happy. Make the most of your time in college. When you're fresh out of undergrad, you'll realize how overrated adulthood really is. Enjoy it while you're there.


Dear self, You are getting ready to go to college and there are some things you need to know to be successful in college and make a smooth transition. Firstly, it is going to be hard. College is not high school. You can't do well by waiting to finish a big assignment the night before. Put your school priorities first and plan your time. This way you can still have fun! Get the big things out of the way first and you will be less stressed and able to relax with friends because you won't have to be worried about finishing a pivotal assignment at the last minute. Secondly, and most importantly, STOP worrying so much. If you work hard and focus, good things will follow. Relax. Don't worry so much what other people are thinking about you, because chances are people aren't judging you as much as you think they are. Everyone is in the same boat in college. You are all on level playing field. In fact, the peers around you will be your biggest support systems. So get to know them and learn from them. You'll do great.


Apply for scholarships as much as you can, there are very valuable. Also look for carrer oportunities to gain experience in the job. Try to get into a internship as early as possible to know what you are getting in and carefully learn about college life. Try to meet people from the college you are trying to enter to know what it is like.


Dear Me, Stop worrying about what Mom and Dad think. In the long run, they just want you to be happy and do well. They may be pushing for you to do certain things, but its more a guideline than a demand. Stop, and take a breath. Figure out what you want to do. It may be hard, because senior year of high school feels like they are still controlling you and all you want to be is free. Some say college is the time for figuring yourself out, but if go somewhere that you don't want to be, then figuring yourself out is going to be much harder than if you pick the place that you truly love and feel comfortable at. Success will follow your happiness. That isn't to say it will be easy, but you know you've ended up in the right place when the work load is a lot, but you don't mind. Wether it is because you know you are hanging out with your friends that night, or that your professor will be proud of you. Be happy, be true to yourself, and the rest will follow. Love, Me.


Try harder. That is the only advice I would need to give my to give myself. If I had tried harder I would have compeleted a lot more scholarship applications and might not be in debt trying to pay for college. I would have tried harder on my college applications so that I might be going to George Mason's honors college. If I had tried harder I would have gotten 5s on AP test which would have allowed me to reseive credit for unnecessary class in order to take the classes I would love to take, but instead am retaking classes I've already passed. By trying harder, I would have seen more opportunities Mason had to offer and would have gotten into clubs earlier, such as the running club or robotics club. By trying harder I would have an easier time today, but I have no regrets.


You are given a wonderful chance to reinvent yourself in a place where you cannot fail so shoot for the stars. In my final year of school I learned to late to take advantage of everything the school has to offer: I became a founding class President of a Fraternity, I have an interview to become a student senator, and I am also going to work on our academic journal next semester, and become a resident advisor. I would tell myself not to wait so long. It is a time to build your resume and start shooting for the moon because the worst that can happen is you end up among the stars. So, keep up with academics and get involved as soon as you can. Simply put, "live life".


I think the college life it's a wonderful experience apart of high shool senior. In the college we have to make many sacrifices to still our studies. Into college we learn thing ever we imagine and new things. If we want to keep and catch our goals we have to study more and work hard for this and left away our friend if nessesary.


You're living in the "Now" too much. College IS the tool for a future.


Don't procrastinate! Even in high school, though I was taking college level courses, I could afford to procrastinate because my extracurriculars didn't take up a lot of my time. Now, even during my second year of college, I'm still trying to get the whole time management ordeal under my belt. Also, since I joined a sorority, I'm really having to set to-do lists on a daily basis just so that I don't get distracted and off track. Procrastination is a college student's demise, and it would be best to learn time management skills in high school so you don't get stressed out in college!


Even though transitioning to living alone is difficult and the course work borders impossible, stay the course and continue your education at your institution. It may be very tempting to take off time to collect yourself and recover from the initial shock, but you will find life is always a challenge. Simply, stay strong, because if you falter, it will take an inordinate amount of time to get back on the winning track. Preserverance is key; and, its rewards are a feeling of pride and the satisfaction of successfully completing a goal. The alternative is far worse. It involves countless hours of self-doubt and a complete loss of self-confidence. You will find yourself questioning whether you can accomplish the most basic of goals. And then, there is the ever present thought that you have failed yourself and everyone who ever dared to believe in you. For those reasons I say to you, young person, never quit, never pause, because as it may be tempting to allow the world to pass you by as you catch your breath, even with a lung full of air it's harder to make up the difference than keep pace while slightly flagged.


Chin up, it's a bigger world out there than you think. I know you didn't want to move again this past year but take all the best out of it that you can, it turned out to be one of the best learning expiriences you've had. College will only help you to continue learning about yourself as well as open many new oppertunities for you. Now just prepare yourslef for all the adjustment you'll need moving back to the states, on your own, and in college no less! Remember how smart you are and don't forget the talent that got you in to school in the first place. Let down your walls, it may be hard, but you'll see that it'll be worth letting the world in, at least a little at a time. It's your time to blossom.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a senior about the transition and college life I would remind myself that I have moved 6 times in my life span and among those three moves were during high school, so transition is something I have mastered. But when it comes to college life I would wish to tell myself that trying new activities and always getting out and finding your passion through experiences. I plan to make the most of my college experience and am going to work hard to find what will fulfill me in life.


Apply to an undergraduate school that financially fits your needs and standards, because graduate school is where the money should go. Take all the opportunities you can and explore college--this means study abroad, join social groups, volunteer and get to know all sorts of organizations. Diversity is a great thing, you live, grow and experience to relate to all sorts of situations and people, so don;t be scared to open yourself up to new people or new experiences. Be you and always have a back-up plan when searching for a career. INTERN INTERN INTERN, there's nothing better than gettign ahead and exploring careers, this way you get to know what you enjoy.


I would live at home to save money instead of living on campus. I would also learn some cooking skills so I wouldn't have to microwave everything!


College Self: I know you are interested in continuing your education. I have a few words of advice for you that I wish someone had told me when I was your age. High school Self: Is that so? Well what do you have to tell me? College Self: The best advice I can give you about the transition is to know that you are never ever alone. There are thousands of people just like yourself who will be college freshmen within the next few months and they are just as neverous as you are. Talk to as many advisors, friends, and family as possible. They have been in the same situation and will never turn you down for help. High school Self: Okay. I will be sure to do that... College Self: Good. Now for one more word of advice- When you are buying your textbooks and the cute clerk asks if you want to get dinner later, say yes!


I had attended small Catholic schools all of my life. They instilled in me morals and the urge to succeed. The only drawback to attending these schools was that I grew up close-minded and blind to diversity. Most of the students I grew up with since kindergarten were upper middle class to higher class, conservative, Caucasian, straight in sexual orientation, Catholics. I had not been subjected to different cultures or belief systems different than my own. I was close-minded to others that were "different" because I did not understand. I would tell myself as a high school student to be more culturally aware and listen to people who may have dissimilar beliefs than me. They are not trying to change my beliefs or tell me that I am wrong, but instead educate about their way of life. Knowing what I do now, I feel that during high school I may have missed some prospective friends because of being close-minded. I think it is important to give everyone a chance to voice their opinion and try to understand instead of immediately shutting them down.


As a college sophomore if I could go back in time to my senior year of high school I would tell myself many things. I would tell myself that college classes are harder if you do not get all A’s it does not mean you are stupid. Make friends that are from out of state because the in state ones tend to go home on the weekends. Calling your grandparents will make them happy and make you not regret your time away from them. Don’t be nervous if you don’t make friends right away everyone is searching for them. If you change your major do not worry, EVERYONE does. If you want to experience a frat party, bring a friend. SLEEP. Get yourself on a good sleeping schedule it will get you so far. When you are sick no matter how old you get or how far from home you are you will always want your mom. It’s okay to be home sick, but it is also okay to make college feel like home.


I should have work harder like class, sport, club. I wish I don't have to work for a job.




If I could go back as a high school senior that would be almost 18 years ago I would tell myself that I should of tried a lot harder to research the field of study I wanted to achieve in College. I started off at a four year college which went very bad it was to big and I felt lost. I did not know anyone and I was just a number, no one even knew my name. I would tell my high school self to go to Job fairs and College Fairs to see what I liked and to see what would fill my life with joy. I would also have tried work study programs in different areas so that I would of had a feel for what was interesting to me. I'm satrting all over in life know because my husband is injured and I could not get a job with just a high school Diploma . I see my future more clearly know because I researched what I wanted to study this time.. I will graduate this time and I will be the first one in my family , which will make everyone happy, including myself.


If I could go back to my senior year in high school, I'd tell myself, to go to a college or university like I planned on doing right out of high school that way I would have a career before things "got tough."


I would tell myself to stay in school. Everything else will fall into place if you just give it a chance. When you are young life seems to take so long! Looking back now I have found that I made many crucial decisions in a very short time period which has effected me to this very day that I live in now. It is a proven fact that people with a substancial amount of education live a far much easier life! I am not sayting that the work is any easier, but it proves you have made a decision and an invested in yourself. If I go to lab or a place of research to find a job and have no education or training, the powers that be will just send me away. I would be fortunate to get a custodian job at best. If I apply myself earning an education and internship through studying hard. I should always prevail. Once you stop the whole learning process it is very hard to get back on board. I've worked construction being a plumber by trade, but I am so happy to be back in college workin towards a degree!


Even though I have only been out of high school for only a year I have a ton I would go back and tell myself. The first thing I would tell myself is to not sweat the small stuff! I let the little things stress me out in high school, whether it was boys, softball practice, or too much homework. I would also tell myself to cherish my years of highschool, because I now know that the work I did in highschool does not even compare to college work. Lastly, I would teacher myself to be a better note taker! I was never taught how to take notes, so when I got to college I thought I had to write everything down. Good note taking skills is very important and I wish I knew then what I know now!


If I could rewind time, I would let my former self take advantage of all of the opportunities presented to me during my high school career. For example, I woulf tell myself to take as many advacne placement classes as I am comfortable taking since they can be redeemed for college credit if I score well on my test. Also, I would tell myself to take advantage of the clubs and programs that were offered through the school. Not only do these clubs open up opportunities for making new friends and doing something that you like, it is also a good compliment to a successful resume.


Don't try to sell yourself short. If your afraid that you can't afford college then try and talk to advisors. Atempt at doing your best! Rather do your best! If life hands you lemons then make lemonade. I know that the fear of failing is crippling but don't let that subside your dreams of succeeding. College isn't as fearful as people make it sound. It is easy and with friends its easier. So just go for what you think is right and let time and life do the rest.


I would have told myself to be more outgoing from the start. I was extremely shy before going to college and it took me a long time to open up once I got to college. Being outgoing is key in college - it's the best way to make friends, be involved in class, and get to know your professors.


If I could speak to myself as a high school senior my advice would range from "make sure you checked the no smoking box on your dorm room application" to doing readings before class is vital to your comprehension of what you discuss in class that day. I would tell myself how to keep track of meal plans so that I wouldn't run out halfway through the week. Probably most importantly, there's no need to try so hard to make friends, the right people won't be the ones trying to be the center of attention. I would tell myself that studying a little bit at a time is far more efficent than cramming. Lastly, remember to keep your room and bathroom clean because you never know when your parents will stop by just to see how their "little girl" is doing at college.


First, I would tell myself that its not to worry about fitting in because everyone is making friends at the beginning of freshman year. At the same time, I would tell myself that getting ahead is the easiest the first semester because that is when the majority of other students goof off. I would also warn myself not to take morning class because now that I am the only one motivating myself to wake, it's a lot harder to get out of bed at seven in the morning. This is also not aided by going to parties the day before. The hardest part of college isn't the school work but learning to balance everything out and not stressing out. Once you get that figured out you're good to go and you can enjoy well earned happiness.

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