By Paige, a Patriot Blogger
Well, it has been a little over a week since Mason’s first admissions deadline, so for those of you have already applied – sit back and relax as you read because you just made the best decision of your life! And for those of you who are still thinking about applying to become a Patriot, maybe this will help push you a little harder :)
Applying to schools during senior year can be very stressful. I remember going to school some days praying no one would ask me about my college decision because I just wanted to focus on a test that I was studying for or enjoy a nap during study hall. Thinking about making a decision that would affect the next 4 years of my life was a lot of pressure. During study hall in the library a group of seniors would congregate in the magazine section and discuss their big plans for the future – which schools they were applying to, how many schools they were applying to, what they wanted to study, which teachers were writing their recommendation letters for them, etc.
The biggest piece of advice I would give for making this big decision is try not to please anyone but yourself. Going to college is a chance for you to continue your life somewhere completely new and redefine who you are.
I am sure there are many factors playing into your college decision such as cost, distance from home, size of the school, majors offered, activities and clubs, athletics and campus life. As much as you want to try to check off all those factors on a list, sometimes you just need a little insider advice. So here I present to you three things that I didn’t know that I would love about Mason before coming here!
1. The close-knit community on campus
Coming in as a freshman in fall 2010, I was still hearing phrases like “Mason is a commuter campus – everyone goes home after classes.” Definitely not true! I lived on campus freshman, sophomore and junior year, and I absolutely loved it. Living in President’s Park freshman year was a great experience because there were many events hosted specifically for freshman like movie nights, community dinners and a mini spring carnival called Parkapalooza. Last year during the hurricane, campus was actually shut down for several days, and I spent about 72 hours locked up in Potomac Heights watching movies, playing Just Dance and baking with my floor mates. Despite the tragic event, those three days stuck on campus were some of the most memorable times I have had at Mason.
Parkapalooza my freshman year
2. The people!
Everywhere you go on campus, the people you encounter are helpful and friendly whether it is the diverse students that you share classes with or the man who makes your sandwich at Sub Connection. Even our University President Dr. Cabrera is awesome! Despite his busy schedule, he consistently shows how much he truly cares about the students at Mason by attending all sorts of campus events from basketball games to study abroad orientations, you name it. I actually wrote a whole article about how Dr. Cabrera uses Twitter with information that I gathered by tweeting him. He is very connected with his students. The professors are equally as dedicated and are always willing to go the extra step to make sure that you are getting the most out of your education. I needed help writing about my dream job for an online English class, and one of my previous professors, who is extremely busy running his own business and writing books, was more than willing to allow me to interview him for my assignment.
3. Emphasis on innovation
I knew when applying that Mason’s mantra was “Where innovation is tradition,” but I didn’t actually understand it until going to school here for three years. Since my freshman year, I have seen so many changes. Of note, we are in the process of building new on-campus housing, renovating roads surrounding campus to alleviate traffic jams, and providing 24 hour dining services to encourage healthier eating habits. Personally, I am super jealous that Ike’s (an on-campus diner) will be open 24 hours and that there will be a Panera in the JC. I almost wish I was a freshman again!
The new Ike’s!
So if you have already sent in your application, I hope you will get to experience these three things for yourself and add your own to the list. And if you have not applied to Mason yet, there’s still plenty of time!