In my previous blog post, I described 8 questions prospective students could ask to improve their college tour experience. Well, I thought it would be a great idea if I answered these questions myself. As prospective students who are interested in George Mason, hearing from current a Mason student about their experience might help you get an idea of how you may fit into the Mason community!
1. What does a typical day on campus look like?
My day usually consists of one or two classes with usually one in the morning and one sometime in the afternoon or night. Before my morning class, I typically grab breakfast at Southside dining hall or Einstein Bagels with another friend. Afterward, I might go to the library to work on some assignments or study with a friend. Throughout the day I might have a meeting to attend as a research assistant, or I might meet a professor during their office hours if I have any questions or concerns. Office hours are the designated time a professor has set aside to meet with students. Taking advantage of office hours allows me to get to know my professor on a personal level, ask questions about their career and work, and assistance on assignments for class. If my class is in the afternoon, afterward I’ll grab dinner and head back to my residential area and probably watch some Netflix, do laundry, or talk with my roommate!
2. How would you describe the student body?
Even though Mason is a large school, the student body really feels like a community. Mason’s students are extremely easy to approach and helpful. As I’ve grown more involved in organizations, the more people I have met. Student organizations have also been really helpful in bridging connections with other students that have similar interests as mine that I might not have met. For example, I am a member of Mason Ambassadors and a staff writer for Her Campus George Mason.
3. What do students do when they aren’t studying?
Throughout the week when I’m not studying, I’m usually participating in the fun events happening on campus. Also, as an Ambassador we tend to have fun activities that we do throughout the semester that I partake in. Every semester Mason Ambassadors host a mingle week that allows the new Ambassadors to get acquainted with the organization and for returning members to hang out together. My favorite Ambassador activity is I-HOP night where we all get together and go to I-HOP and enjoy each other’s company over pancakes. For the most part, clubs and organizations host their own events as a great way for students to meet new people and build a sense of community. The Patriot Activities Council is always hosting fun events from stand-up comedy events to student fashion shows. Sometimes, my friends and I might get together and watch a television show in one of the common .
4. What’s the relationship like between students and staff/faculty?
As someone who came from a small high school where it was easy to form relationships with teachers, I was really nervous about how I would be able to do that at a large university. However, at Mason, I’ve learned to realize just how easy it can be to make those meaningful connections. For me personally, there are still professors that I keep in touch with even after completing their course. Furthermore, because of the connections I’ve made with certain professors, they’ve been able to or suggest certain opportunities for me to look into because they know my interests and passions.
5. What are some examples of “dorm essentials” at your college/university?
The number one item that I didn’t realize I needed at Mason was rainboots! I know it might sound quite basic, but college doesn’t stop when it rains. While I know it typically rains in most states, where I lived in Michigan never warranted needing a hefty pair of rainboots. When I arrived on campus after the first time it rained, my sneakers got soaked and I went online to buy a pair right then and there!
6. What’s your favorite thing to do off-campus?
On the top of my list is getting together with friends and going into Washington D.C. The is so much to do and during my time I’ve gone to plenty of museums, attended concerts, and taken a stroll down the Georgetown Waterfront. But locally, the Fairfax area has cool gems as well. My favorite so far has been going to local pottery place with my roommate where we spent the day painting and designing mugs followed by dinner at Sisters Thai and rolled ice cream from Smashed Creamery.
7. What’s one area you think your school could improve upon?
From the on-campus activities I have attended, such as hearing from Supreme Court Justice Kagan, I would appreciate if Mason could offer more on-campus events and activities during the weekends than what is already available. While I enjoy a weekend off-campus, sometimes I want to relax and enjoy campus sometimes instead of venturing out.
8. Can I picture myself on this campus?
To be completely honest, Mason really felt like home during my sophomore year. Freshman year was a year of transition for me, and I also studied abroad that year through the Global Gateway program that allows first year students the opportunity to study abroad for the semester at one of ten locations. Therefore, I didn’t feel as though I spent enough time at Mason for it to truly feel like home yet. However, after returning for my sophomore year, I not only saw familiar faces who were happy to see me, but also met so many new awesome people. All this to say, even though during my tour as a prospective high school student I felt like I could call Mason home, it took a minute for it to fully set in. Now as a junior, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else! Mason’s student body continuously opens itself up to welcome new students and that effort is what allowed me to feel at home.