George Mason University Top Questions

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

Scott

I would advise my high-school self to forget that I had ever gone back in time to give myself advice. Honestly, I wouldn't be where I am had I not made mistakes in the past. After high-school, I took some time off and moved around. I got into two emotionally abusive relationships, one of which sent me to a mental institution. However, each relationship taught me something new. When I got back into school at a community college, I changed my major a few times. This was good because I didn't lose too much money pursuing something I didn't like. However, I still didn't take school seriously. Finally, I started attending George Mason University. Living on-campus after going to community college was refreshing. The courses were interesting, the professors knowledgeable, and I got my first career-related job that I love. So if I ever got to visit my high-school self, I would say, make mistakes, make bad decisions, make yourself hate your life and where you're going. Only when you do that will you learn to be able to make effective decisions and be exactly what you want to be.

Eric

I have learned a lot about how I learn best, and how I don't. I have learned how painfully shy I am regarding meeting people and engaging in any sort of conversation, regardless of my knowledge in that subject area. I have tested out a few different classes and possible majors, and learned more about what I would like to do, what does suit me best, and those areas I should stay very far away from. As I have yet to get a job due to my college learning, I cannot say it has been valuable in any monetary sense, but I have learned things I don't think I normally would have without attendance.

Kelsey

I have gotten a lot out of my college experience from meeting good friends I can rely on at all times, to class based knowledge and research methodologies and practices. It has been extremely valuable for me to attend because I know that I'm getting one of the top educations in the nation in my field--Elementary Education, and it will give me a leg up over the competition when I apply for a job after graduation. Additionally the field experience offered by the school has provided an outlet for me to evaluate my job expectations and reinforce my passions so I know I'm on the right career path. College for me has been a time of a lot of changes, but it has fostered my growth in ways I hadn't previously though of.

Hyun

The friends that I have made is the one experience that I have gotten out of this. It's very valuable to me because we became so close that we became brothers. Everything in this world can be replaced with enough time and/or money, but others are harder to replace, like life-long friends.

Helen

College is allowing me to reach further than I ever thought possible. I will be able to complete my dream of becoming a teacher, and hopefully make a powerful impact on the lives of other students, the way my professors have on me. It is so important to go to college when you are young, because life has a way of getting in the way of any dreams you have. That's what happened to me. I kept thinking that I would go to college when I had the time, but it seemed like that time just got further and further away. That is, until I finally said "enough". No more procrastinating...just do it. I think everyone should go to college, because it can help you see clearly about how you want to spend the rest of your life.

Janet

College has encouraged many talents that will help me in the adult world, and given me a great deal of respect for education and the world around me. In college I have developed patience and perseverance in my studies. I have also become better organized from mapping out time to study, read course works, or write essays. Perhaps of most importance, school has fostered respect for the people around me, and encouraged me (a normally shy, introverted person) to participate in class activities and assist in group projects. All of these traits will be vital for me to function at my future job and community. Finally, school has taught me much about the world beyond my house. The classes provided me vital understanding to my country's culture, politics, and history. It has made me appreciate my country and want to use my talents to serve it.

Tyler

In a sense, my studies and experiences at George Mason have allowed me to obtain a new pair of “eyes.” What I mean by this phrase is that I see things through a variety of different perspectives; many more than the ones I was accustomed to coming out of high school. Literature, movies, pictures and more took on new meanings to me. I had always viewed the world through the “lens” of a Caucasian male. My college experience has enabled me to change perspectives on the world, which I feel is an invaluable trait both in and out of college. Not only that, but I am able to use this trait in about everything I do and everything I see. The ability to perceive many things in various and often completely dissimilar ways has been absolutely enlightening to myself and those who have gained the same gift George Mason provides.

Markeith

I have gotten adult experience and how to beome responsible fro my future. It valuable for me to have access for a better life. I meet new friends who become helpful for me in my complicated days.

David

Because I am currently working and going to school, I learned how to manage my time more wisely. Working at Starbucks, there were times when I had to wake up at 3am and then go straight to school for the 1pm class on Tuesday’s and Thursdays class. As a supervisor at Starbucks going to college has taught me some techniques on how to motivate and manage people. For example, on the job, people were complaining of becoming fatigued do to working the same task throughout the day. Because of what I learned in my psychology class, when I was the supervisor of the shift I rotated people every ninety minutes. As a result people making the drinks were happier, which in turn made customers happier. A very simple concept which no one implemented, not even the manager. This was all due to what I’ve learned in college, a small picture of how education can better society.

Maureen

I have met so many people that I would have never met if I hadn't attended George Mason.

Tanika

College has been a huge eye opener for me, like most teenagers I goofed off in school and felt as though my mom was out to get me. Once I enrolled in school and it was me against the world things started to settle in, I couldn't go around lollygagging (as my mother would say) and putting off life as a joke. The one reason it has been to valuable me, and this may sound at bit sobby, but I learned appreciation for my mother and other parents. It shows how much they really sacrifice and care for their children. I have a new appreciation for my mother and our relationship has been better than ever. I hope everyone learns what I did and more.

Stephen

College has taught me a lot so far.

Blake

College has been a great experience for me, it has taught me to learn. That is the best thing someone could get out of College because after I graduate I will be able to quickly adapt to new things that confront the medical world each year. Many students go to college to learn what they think is the occupation they will use for the rest of their lives. I go to college to learn the hard foundation of the occupation I am going for, and on top of that grow my adapting skills as greatly as possible. Many people complain about all the fast moving hard courses they have to go through but I think it better prepares someone for the many deadlines and responsibilities they will face later on in life. Therefore I think everyone should be required to take at least a few class beyond High School to better prepare them for their working life to come. -Blake Huegel

Lynette

I have gotten so much out of my college experience. So many research sources that have been so helpful to me. I never knew what college would be like for me. I never even thought I would attend college. The teachers and staff are so very helpful. They have kept me going when I felt like quitting. I understand how important a college education is and I am so happy to be a life-long learner.

Rachael

The biggest thing I've gotten out of my college experience is learning that it is necessary to have a successful life. Even though it is challenging, I know that in the long run it will be worth it. I'll be able to go out into the world with a secure job. These are the reasons that it's valuable to attend as well. There aren't many people who get lucky enough to find a secure job without getting a college education. It's important for the younger generations to get a good education to secure good futures. It's also valuable to me because I'm going to learn how to do a job that I can help make a difference in people's lives every day. It's great to know that I can get a college education and help people every day because of that.

Patrick

I have gotten a good understanding of what it means to live with other human beings that differ physically, emotionally, politically, and racially. This understanding I hope will help me to succeed in the real world, where not everyone is of one type of background. This school was valuable to me because before Mason, I didn't have a realistic view of the world. My world was distorted because I had never so many international people. Knowing the people I know now, has helped me to understand how special our talents are. And how everyone's uniqueness must be apprciated and not shunned otherwise we won't learn to live with one another. Hopefully, others have picked up what I have learned in my year and a half studying at George Mason.

Michael

The variety of opinions and experience brought by the equally varied group of students, staff and faculty have strongly encouraged an open outlook on just about everything. Rarely have I felt uncomfortable expressing my opinion. Furthermore, my experience as a member of the student staff on campus has provided me with valuable customer service and other practical experience that employers look for in potential employees. All in all, I'm very glad I came here.

Elizabeth

My college experience has helped me develop a passion to push myself harder and realize I am capable of achieving extraordinary things if I am willing to give myself credit for my accomplishments. I have also been an "over-achiever" but never realized my full potential in the world. The professors at George Mason have not only challanged but inspired me to find what I am passionate about and do something with it. Living in the DC area has also allowed me to work for the Department of Defense while staying in school; giving me the opportunity to explore the professional environment, learn from hard-working professionals, and get a hands-on experience to learning within my major. College is a time of fun and memories, but it is also a time to find yourself and that is the true value of college for me.

Lindsay

My college experience has transformed my life is the most positive way possible. I have learned so much in the past three years of attending college. I have always dreamed of being a nurse and I continue to work hard at becoming a professional. I get the experience and knowledge neccessary to succeed. The experience has greatly influenced my personal values as well. As my mother battles with cancer I strive to take care of her to the best of my ability. I have such a great compassion for other people and I feel as if my purpose is to help others. College has helped me reach for the stars. I know exactly what I want to do now and I am making it happen. I have such will and determination to reach my goals by attending college. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to attend college. It really is a valuable memory and an inexplainable opportunity. I encourage everyone to attend.

Cary

My experience as a nontraditional community college student has given me the opportunity to flourish in a small setting before going out to tackle the world. I have been able to be involved on my campus and in my community as well as receiving superior class room experiences. I am a leader on campus and that is somethiing that I will carry with me in my future college experiences and also into my career.

Ada

I have been taught to be responsable and punctual. I used to be late to all my classes in Highschool and gotten away with a B or even an A. Now, I feel that if I am not responsable with my assignments, projects, etc. it will damage my career, because I feel that this is the time in where young adult's lifes are being shaped and an understanding of the world is being made.

Stephanie

Thus far I have just completed the admittance process. I have learned that applying for college can be tedious if you are not properly prepared. You must have all of your information ready before you even begin the application process. Even though the school has financial aid officers and other staff to assist you, I learned that they do not always have the right answers and therefore, as a new college student, you must be prepared to do a lot of research on your own. I learned a lot during orientation, but I will need to do further research to look into what works best for me. I anticipate getting all that I can out of attending college, including financial aid, communicating and interacting with other people and ethnic groups. After receiving my certificate, I can elect to persue a higher level of education and will have earned credits to take with me. My college experience has been VERY valuable to me because it is a door that opened for me as I venture into another era of my life. This has to be the most important and valuable decision that I ever made.

Ranya

My experience at Mason has granted me opportunities and challenges that have prepared me for the future. It has allowed me to grow as an individual, with an open-mind to other races/ethnicities. Mason taught me how to discipline myself and transform into a mature and hard-working, success driven individual. Furthermore, I have met some of the best people in the world here who have guided me and motivated me to do my best.

Christine

Through my experience at George Mason University, I have gained a greater understanding of life as whole as well as my passion for the field of Psychology. I am going to the education field, so I can say with much confidence that Mason has prepared me well for my career. I can now apply all of the knowledge I have acquired to my daily interactions with people, and can better understand humankind as a whole. My undergraduate experience at Mason has also been valuable because I have learned a lot academically while being in a diverse environment. This has been extremely rewarding, and the setting has allowed me to grow significantly as a person. Lastly, the diversity found at Mason has impacted my cultural awareness and understanding of a variety of communities and groups. This entire learning process has positively influenced my overall personality and growth, and has prepared me for the real world working with a diverse group of learners!

Reid

I have learned multiple different things in college and become a more well rounded individual. The broad variety of courses offered have allowed to study what i truely desire which is finance. While being away from my parents living on my own i have grown up a lot becasue i was responsible for my self and my actions. Throughout college i have matured more than my friends who have not attended college. Also once i earn my degree i will be able to make a difference in the business environment.

Durga

The first few weeks of entering Mason, it was all about finding classes, buying books, waking up on time and juggling work and school. It was very stressful. Then a few weeks in, it was time for the first round of exams. I thought it was only going to be more stress; it was, but I was not the only one. My email had quite a students who went to work too, and needed to study. Study groups formed, friendships made over many cups of coffee and numbers were exchanged. I think that was the turning point. College now is still stressful, but it also fun. I am learning to organize my time, set and meet deadlines, ask for help when I need, and give help when I can. The school calendar is filled with lectures and seminars, sometimes about topics I have not even heard about and I go in, drink coffee , meet and learn something new every time. Class discussions are about disagreeing with each other in a constructive, open manner and has helped me broaden my views tremendously. These are just some of the lessons I have learnt since attending Mason, and they are lifelong lessons.

Andrea

I started my college experience when I was a Junior in high school. It has definitely been a long journey to complete my Associates degree, but it was all worth it. I wouldn't change anything about my college experience, I have learned so much from my past professors and my fellow classmates. My time attending college has been valuable because it has made me realize why I want to pursue my dreams into becoming a Forensic Pathologist. I am so very grateful that I have the opportunity to expand my mind and continue my education.

Carlene

Attending this college only made me realize I am halfway through accomplishing my goals of becoming a Chemist with my PhD. It has definitely made me 1000% more independent and struggle financially.

Allison

College made "real life" more visible. Therefore, I learned what the true value of friend and that my family will be there for me when no one else can. I gained respect for my peers who barely showed struggle and were taking on far harder courses. College has once again, taught me that how to make a friend. Obviously, it has increased my intellectual ability, more than I thought possible in a year. It became apparent that I can still relate to literature even though it was written 100+ years ago. It has taught me that I am soley responsible for myself. Life in college is nice, because I am able to focus on school, friends, and myself. I can better myself, so one day I will better the world.

Monica

The main thing I got out of my college experience was a bachelor's degree, which qualified me for a few entry-level jobs. Now I'm back at a school I dislike for graduate school, and I'm hoping that that will help me more. I like the school a lot more now that I don't live on campus and have friends elsewhere.

Andrew

From attending college, I have learned many important aspects of life. I have learned that when things get hard, you must keep your head up and you cannot stop working to be all that you can be. I have faced many challenges in college and I have found that the best way to approach these challenges is to try your hardest. College was very hard for me to adjust to because at my high school I was one of the most popular kids in school and I was the star soccer player, but as I transitioned into college, I realized that none of that mattered. On my first day of college, I realized that I wasn't the star athlete or the popular kid any more. College has been valuable to attend because it made me realize that you don't have to be the star athlete or the popular kid to be happy.

Elizabeth

What I have gotten from my college experience, thus far, is that it is not as easy as it looks. Going to school three days a week is more work than a full-time job once you consider the amount of time it takes to study and do other activities required outside of the classroom. College has taught me to look at everything at a deeper level because most things are not what is seen on the surface and that all information is not provided in the classroom. These experiences are valuable to me because it made me a stronger person yesterday and will make me a better person tomorrow. Being a better person tomorrow allows me to show someone else how they can achieve goals that they thought were not reachable and be able to let him or her know how much work it takes to get there.

Malanna

Since the age of twelve, I knew I wanted to attend college. My mom only attended college for a year and my father did not attend at all. I wanted to be the difference. I am one year behind my brother. He graduated in 2009 and went on to a Community College. My brother struggled his first year and did not do so well in his classes. I began to worry about starting college. Once I graduated in 2010, I knew that I wanted to start college in the fall. I began at Gadsden State Community College where I am getting my basics. I have been attending for about three months now and have discovered that developing good study habits and attending every class is beneficial to my grades. I plan to be a Respiratory Therapist at a childrens hospital because I love kids. In order to recieve my education and reach my goals in life, college is my first step. My college experience is much different than high school because it takes a lot of responsibility and determination for class. When you have a big future ahead of you though, I have to give it all I have.

Jennifer

Coming out of high school I thought I wanted a job as a financial advisor, but in college I came to discover that my skills would be most useful in a very different field of work. I am not particularly good at math, but I do enjoy writing, and so I found myself working for the school newspaper. Without college I may have made the mistake of diving right into a field that would have left me frustrated and unhappy. College truly is a process of self-discovery. It is also a great place to network with people who have experience in your field. I have met so many people who have helped me access knowledge and resources that I could not have gotten on my own, particuarly with the intense competition in the journalism field.

ahmad

College experience equiped me with great communication and leadership skills. It is helping me alot in everyday tasks, specially in professional life. Investment of time and money at college is the best investment I ever made in my life. Because it yields to many times larger and ever increasing profit, as compared to any other investment options available in market. Communication skills I learned in college is helping me in job as communicator.

Natalie

My college experience has taught me that there is such a diverse range of students in the world; all which can contribute to my educational career in some way. For example, while taking classes for my Therapeutic Recreation degree, I met other students who were receiving degrees in nursing, psychology, english, and even cultural studies. From these people, I learned to analyze situations by looking at many different view points and angles. I also learned to work together as a team to reach a common goal, such as turning in a project together about a new program offered.

bilal

The opportunity to interact and learn from instructors and students gives me different perspectives on life. As a result, I am open minded and willing to explore different possibilities.

Carlene

I have learned so much from my college experience. From meeting new and interesting people to making life long friends. I am excited about starting classes in the upcoming year because this will be focused on my future career. This will be my first step into my future. My professors will be invaluable to me because they will be the ones to help toward my journey. My new and old friends will be lifelong. Even though there will be agruments over bathroom time and food. These are going to be the best times of my life and the times that I will treasure forever. This what I know I will recall and tell my grandchildren. I look forward to going everyday and will savor it all. Carlene Lewis

Randall

My attending college has set a great example for my children that a college education is important.

Amanda

I have gained so much in my first year at GMU. As a military brat, I am used to being forced into new situations and having to adapt (see moving 7 times before I went to college). However, college was an entirely new ballgame. Being on my own was something that was an invaluable learning experience. Simple things like finding a docter in the area and going by oneself or figuring out how to dress for a meeting with a VIP without Mom to approve/veto outfits was an exercise in learning how to be independent. Additionally, it was incredible to attend classes with other like minded people and really get emersed in one's major. High school involves, oftentimes, sitting through classes that you hate and have nothing to do with your passions. Yes, it is true, you are required to take so many general education classes in college. However, even first semester you still have the opportunity to dive into the classes you know you will love, or take a sampling of everything to find out what it is you really are passionate about. College has proved valuable already by teaching me about myself and my new independence.

Sarah

It has been valuable to attend because you get a lot of hands on experience with any major that you choose. If you are interested in any kind of government this college is literally five seconds away from Washington D.C. I love the atmosphere that college has. Everyone is very chill, and studious, which is perfect for me. I lov e this school, and it has so many recsources to offer students. The huge library, and lots of of databases where searching for any kind of information is easy to find. You can find information on anything you could possibly imagine. Also, the professors at this schoool are here to help you, not hurt you in your college career.

Megan

I got two degrees!

Joseph

College thus far, has brought me two things that are of substantial importance. First, is being humbled. Coming from High School I thought I knew it all, and that I was (more-or-less) smarter than just about anyone i knew, but once I entered college with all the diverse students I quickly learned that I needed to be humble and that there was so much to learn from others. Second, i learned that 2+2 does not equal 4! (Haha) Not literally, but my point is that I had to be ready to give up some of my most fundamental beliefs if I was to make the most of my college experience. What I mean to say is that if I truly want to learn, I must be open minded to even the most whacky of ideas!

Kaleigh

College has taught me to be myself and to not worry about what anyone else things. In high school I suffered from depression and I almost didn't survive to even see college. However, I was lucky and now that I have experienced college, I realize that it was the best therapy for me. College made me realize that I'm worth something and that I can make a difference in not only my own life, but also others. The people I have met and the professors I have come across have taught me that I'm valuable in this world. Being on my own in college has made me a stronger person, and never again will I contemplate whether my life is worth it. College changed me from a suicidal young girl to a confident young woman.

matt

My college experience has opened many doors that would have remained otherwise shut. I have learned that my drive is what will make or break a class, and the effort I put into it is what I get out of it. The greatest value college has given me is my families support. They have really stuck by my side to help me get to class, and finish my projects. Thanks MOM

Katie

In my college experience, I have gained a lot of great values that I would otherwise not have gained. I really believe that each person has something great to pass on to the next generation coming behind them, at in my school experience, I had a few key professors who gave not only the knowledge of their mind, but also from the heart. Truly, in my progressive music studies, I have learned immensely about the knowledge and theory of music, but even more so, I learned a lot how to handle situations that are destined to come through life. There is more to the college experience that sitting in a classroom memorizing information. If you come ready, with an open mind and heart, you can learn alot more than you expect from someone. This is what I did. I came expecting to gain knowledge, but gained important life values such as trust, independance, discipline, planning, and creativity. I couldn't do what I hope to do someday without these aspects of life, and even though I didn't register for these with my classes, I still gained them in my college experiences.

Hannah

I plan on becoming a lawyer in Human Rights Law and working with the United Nations and International Non-Profit organizations around the world to help people achieve the justice they deserve. Attending college thus far and majoring in political science has helped me to understand the political processes and laws of many different countries around the world. It has given me better understanding about the world we live in, and opened up my eyes to so many cultures and ideals. At George Mason University itself, the people are so diverse and unique, I have learned about so many diffierent cultures and met so many amazing people by just living and interacting with people on campus. It has been so valuable to attend a university with such open-minded ideals, and an excellent political science program. Living on the outskirts of Washington, D.C has also been amazing to be near the action of politics taking place everyday.

Maria

My college experience has provided me with a lot of knowledge about psychology, my undergraduate major, as well as education, my proposed major for graduate school. It has also taught me a lot about many different subject areas thanks to the great general education program. I love the huge focus on tolerance and diversity at this school -- these are not just things it talks about in the viewbook to lure students in but are actual values emphasized and embraced by students. Another great thing is the sustainability efforts while still managing to constantly expand and build something new.

MaryLou

I am not going to say that when I attempted to go to college the first time I was a good college student. I think that becoming a good student is something that you work at and become. When I went into college the first time I didn't know what or who I wanted to be when I finished the experience of college. Last year, I took an EMT course, I went in with a little apprehension because I didn't know how to study. Right away it was interesting and held my attention, I learned how to study for my learning needs because I wanted to learn and understand the information. I now know that going back to college is going to be a better experience because I am going to be able to study and know that I can! I have always known that I wanted to be in the medical profession and I have decided to start with nursing. I know how to study and achieve what I want! I am going to be a GREAT college student! If you choose me for this scholarship I won't let you down!! Thanks for your consideration!!

Justin

What I have gotten from my college experience so far is that going to class and learning the material is what you are paying for. Many college students do not appreciate that nor take advantage of the fact that they can learn from intelegent professors who in fact can provide connections if they see the potential in you. With that said I attend my classes regularly and get involved when I can in order to get the most from my classes. Any opportunities that are presented I try to take advantage of, such as my one government professor at least once a semester has seminars that I attend. The seminars feature Senators and/or diplomats, which with a government major it fits my interests.

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