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George Mason University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB Faculty AccessibilityA
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionC-
Academic SuccessA Creativity/ InnovationB
Individual ValueB+ University Resource UseA+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceA+ Social LifeC+
Surrounding CityB Extra CurricularsA+
SafetyA-
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Helpful

Male
ACT:29
id='quarter' class='snapshot' style='color: #009704; line-height:80px';float:left;
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Excess Competition
C-
Highest Rating
University Resource Use
A+
He cares more about Excess Competition than the average student.
Date: Jan 13 2009
Major: Political Science (This Major's Salary over time)
I just finished my first semester at Mason, and more than anything it has confirmed for me that college is whatever you make it. It matters less where you go and more what you do while you're there. I came to mason from my dying town in Ohio for the prospect of plenty of opportunities offered due to the university's location in the D.C. metro area; so far I have not been wrong. However, I'm not necessarily a walking poster-boy for Mason.

First, the academics so far have been awesome. Yeah, you have to work a little bit; you can't show up hung over half the time and not the other half and hope for a good grade. I'm in the honors program, so it might be a bit more rigorous for me. Don't worry, though… I don't sit in my room studying constantly. Class sizes are generally smaller than most schools… the largest survey classes don't have more than about 60 people in them (small by comparison). For this reason professors are easy to access, and if they get to know you personally even a little bit you should be crystal clear.

The campus is pretty nice. It's young, so some of the buildings have corny, generic names (Innovation Hall, Enterprise Hall, and, my favorite, College Hall). However, it's no UVA; nor does it cost nearly as much. I've been on several college campuses, though, and this one is pretty good looking. My only complaint is the lack of big, open green spaces… there are some, but they're not like what you'll find at Maryland. When it comes to housing, I don't think Mason can be beat. As a freshman you have the opportunity of living in almost brand-new, suite style on campus apartments. Where else can you do that? Freshmen do, for the most part, live in the traditional dorms of President's Park. Still, the rooms are big compared to freshmen rooms on so many other big campuses. In short, housing here rocks.

Now onto the big one: social life. Remember what I said about college being what you make it? This is when it's important. As someone who nearly went to one of the strictest schools in America (Navy) and one of the biggest party schools (Ohio State), I have an interesting perspective on Mason's social life. I was fortunate enough to make friends quickly in my dorm, and never had a lack of people to hang out with. Some of my friends drink; some don't. It's true that the campus appears dead on weekends. It's probably not as desolate as it looks; a lot of people choose to hole up in their dorm rooms till nightfall- it does seem more lively then. Many people bash Mason for what seems to be an anti-party atmosphere; this isn't entirely untrue. Our president is vehemently anti-drinking and the campus is one of the driest in Virginia (statistically). In reality, if you want to drink, you can. It might not be at a raging on-campus party, but you can do it if you want. Just DO NOT GET CAUGHT. It's true that the cops LOVE nailing students on the slightest charges. Watch out for them going undercover at events, too. I'll be honest: Fairfax itself is not a college town. It's a suburb for people who have families and work for the Government in D.C. While there's no shortage of places to eat in Fairfax, there seems to be a major shortage of places to party. However, theres a HUGE other side to the argument that is generally never heard from.

People bash Mason for the lack of partying. They contrast us to places like JMU or Virginia Tech. Wake up call: both of those "party schools" are out in the middle of nothing. So yea, you can drink yourself blind there, cause good luck finding anything else to do. Mason isn't always known for its parties; but we have D.C., which often is. In my mind, I would rather have the option of going to D.C. and sacrifice on campus partying than have nothing else to do but drink all weekend on the same college campus week in, week out. And let's be honest, kids. As freshmen you'd probably just end up getting drunk in your dorm room with some friends and wandering around doing shit. People do that here just as much, trust me. Don't act like you're a party animal who plans on hitting raging parties all the time with reckless abandon; nobody really does that anywhere, and if they say they do, they're lying or sluts. D.C. is huge and accessible and full of clubs that make shitty, crusty frat houses at colleges elsewhere look like exactly what they are: shitty, crusty frat houses. So go ahead out to one of the "party schools" in the boondocks. Hope you really kick it out there in the fields.

In short, I think Mason's academics speak for themselves; there's really no argument as to the quality of the education you'll get here. Plus, the school is literally gaining recognition by the day (Obama gave his first major speech on domestic policy last week on campus). The housing is awesome, as the school has begun pouring money into transforming its image away from that of a commuter school. Partying on campus is limited. So get to know people. And then go with them to D.C. for a better party than most campuses anywhere can offer. Don't be a product of your environment. Make your environment a product of you.

     
Responses
Awesome review man!
responseNice review
responseRows=6 cols=34 wrap=virtual
This review has set in stone for me that I'm going to GMU, thanks bud!
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