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George Mason University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityD+ Faculty AccessibilityB+
Useful SchoolworkC+ Excess CompetitionB
Academic SuccessD+ Creativity/ InnovationC
Individual ValueC- University Resource UseB-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyD FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceC- Social LifeC
Surrounding CityA Extra CurricularsC+
Describes the student body as:

Describes the faculty as:

Lowest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
Highest Rating
Surrounding City
She cares more about Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty than the average student.
Date: Apr 10 2010
Major: Psychology (This Major's Salary over time)
Okay so I am a senior in my last semester and will graduate in May 2010. I've been at Mason since for 4 years and all 8 semesters. To be honest, I've never been super thrilled about Mason at all. Basketball is pretty big here, but I could care less about it, so I guess that diminished my school spirit. My major is psychology and it's pretty much a joke. The required psychology classes (and there's only 9—that's right, 9!) were so easy; it was disappointing. The psychology program isn't that great, and I'm sure there are better ones out there. It seemed like high school all over again, where you don't really have to study much at all. To give you a clue, I've been in Fenwick library under 5 times in 4 years. And with the exception of 1 visit, I was there because my class went there together for a reason or I was meeting a friend. I never went there to study.

The 100 level classes can either be ridiculously hard & your professors treat it like a grad class, or ridiculously easy (something like 3 tests and that's it). Unfortunately, you will most likely get stuck doing a dumb group project.

There's nothing to do on the weekends, but I'm never on campus anyways for that reason (even during the week). There is a heavy emphasis put on Greek life, and there are A LOT of basically cheap hookers that are in sororities. The fraternity guys are a-holes and are condescending. It seems like there's always people talking about how drunk they got over the weekend. Mason does not have Greek housing on campus (thank goodness) so if you're into partying, you'll be going off campus for that. Oh, and if you hate smoking, good luck here. There are smokers EVERYWHERE, and even though you are supposed to be at least 20 feet from a building if you're going to smoke, the stupid idiot smokers camp out right in front of the doors, so you have to walk through their smoke. It's the most annoying thing in the world, and most times you will get stuck walking behind one of the losers. But Virginia will probably never ban smoking in public (3 guesses why..)

The Program Board tries their best to get students involved with on campus activities, but it is no use. The EFF (Every Freakin Friday) program is rarely a success. I've been to about 2 or 3 my whole time at Mason. Very few students attend these events.

Mason dining services are quite bad, and the food is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. There are 2 "convenience" stores, but if you're looking for a fruit drink/smoothie or quick frozen meal, expect to pay no less than about $4. Oh, and cereal is $7. I can get cereal at a regular store for about $3. The food items are just outrageously priced. The JC food court sucks, especially if you don't like eating burger king, taco bell, greasy pizza or nasty pasta sauce, gross asian food and gross indian food. The only decent place was Georges, but I don't even think that's open anymore. By the fall I definitely think it will be closed. The Bistro used to be decent too, but they're only open about 2 hours a day, of which I am in class so I don't even bother going there. The new Southside was all the rage when it opened up, but even that is overrated now. NOTHING changes there, except for the occasional "changing colors" food station. Every time you go there you will find the same salad bar, pizza & pasta, grill foods, and wraps. Expect to pay about $9 for your entrance fee. Gold Rush is on the bottom of Southside, and that is pretty decent. You can get a sandwich made to order, and unlike SubConnection, your bread will be fresh and soft. Mason is too stubborn to get rid of Sodexho and move to a quality food provider, so until the foreseeable future, you're likely to be stuck with bad food.

Parking…where do I start? Over the course of my 4 years here, there's been about 5 parking lots close. And one of them was HUGE. They got rid of many parking lots only to put up more buildings. They took away the ONLY resident parking lot (which was so small anyways it was useless) and nothing got done. So basically you got to drive right by the place where you could have parked. And because of the insanely limited parking places, the one million commuter students had nowhere to park too. So it was a literal cut-throat battle to find a spot. I never wanted to leave campus unless I absolutely had to because I knew it would be very difficult to find a spot when I came back. For my entire sophomore year, there was basically no parking. It wasn't until the new parking deck opened in April 2009 that this year everyone is finally getting some relief. But I am paying $400 for my spot, which is a guaranteed one. But regular commuters have discovered this deck and it is once again struggle to find a spot. Also, parking services (which you will learn to recognize in their stupid white pick up truck) is essentially useless. They will either ticket you to your death, or do nothing. I called in an incident in which someone was double parked FOUR TIMES to report this to them, and every time they said they were going to take care of it. Over the course of 3 days, nothing was done. No ticket, no tow, nothing. It severely pissed me off, considering I paid $400 for my spot, and this a-hole was using up 2 and wasting the other one. (I got mad because they closed Lot I so now all those people got a free upgrade to the deck so parking on the floor is a lot more limited).

The campus is pretty ugly, in my opinion. There's construction going on ALL THE TIME and EVERYWHERE. I mean, I get that you've got some money to spend, but slow the eff down! You don't really need to have an alarm clock, because you will get woken up by the drills, cranes, and trucks that are everywhere. And they can't even get these projects done in a timely manner. They tear up the place and take forever to put it back together.

The dorms are okay. If you are a freshman, you will most likely get placed in President's Park. I was there my first year, but I think recently they've run out of room for students there. So who knows where you'll get placed. They are your typical dorms consisting of either 2, 3, or 5 person rooms. You will have to share a bathroom, so that sucks. Housing doesn't get much better for sophomores as you may get stuck in Commonwealth or Dominion. These are essentially the Park all over again, except this time you have to share a bathroom with 3 people instead of 15. I got lucky and moved into Shenandoah my 2nd year and got the room brand new. My 3rd and 4th years I've been in Northern Neck, and again got my room brand new. My roommates and I got the best room on campus with a great view of the Chesapeake walkway with huge floor to ceiling windows. However, almost all of you will not be so lucky with housing! Choices for upper level students include Liberty and Potomac. These are fairly new complexes and are right next to the Park. The only downside (I think) is that they are on the far side of campus, away from all of the academic buildings. So you have a ways to walk to get to your classes. Chesapeake is right in the center of campus which makes it nice. Bottom line, if you're an incoming freshman and you want to live on campus, you better sign up for housing, because if you don't and then want to get on campus later , it is IMPOSSIBLE. There is no way you will be able to get pulled into a room. Once you're on, you're on, but if you're not from the get go, you will never be.

Okay, those were all pretty negative things. Some positive things..I do like that Mason is diverse. It's nice to see people from a bunch of different walks of life and cultures. Mason does an International Week and showcases different countries and stuff like that. The only con is that some of the ethnic students don't hold themselves to the same standards of hygiene..I think you get what I'm saying. But definitely DO NOT come to Mason if you have never seen a race other than Caucasian and are die hard Republican. Fairfax County is one of the most liberal counties in the whole state.

Mason has a lot of places that you can work out, which is very nice. The PE building (now called the RAC) just opened up this year and is all new. Skyline (which is right next to Southside & in the same building) is brand new as well. The Aquatic Center is near Liberty and Potomac and is also fairly new. The only old place is the Field House, which is across 123. Sometimes it's nice to go there because there aren't too many people that visit anymore, so you don't have a bunch of people around you. The only stupid thing is that Mason won't give you credit if you take a PE class. Stupid because they want you to work out as seen by the 4 gyms, but won't give you credit if you take a class. Quite hypocritical if you ask me.

This is not really something Mason can control, but it worked out nicely for them. The proximity to DC is great. Since campus is dead on the weekends anyways, you can hop on the metro and spend a whole day visiting museums, playing sports on the mall, or doing whatever you want. There's a lot to do in DC, and you should definitely take advantage of being so close.

In conclusion, it would seem that my college experiences are leaning more towards the negative side, but I know there are things I could have changed to try and improve it. In general though, I would say I am spot on with the dining and parking aspects though. I leave you with one last thing…good luck with the traffic! You will rip your hair out :)

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