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OPINION: College is what you make of it

By Chris Kernan-Schmidt, Columnist

I love Mason. The classes, the staff, athletics, even the mundane walks to and from class can be interesting. However, some of my peers do not have the same attitude that I do. From looking at social media sites, school reviews, and just talking with my classmates, I get a sense that some students have a negative attitude toward Mason. Whether they hate parking, traffic, waitlists, perceived lack of student involvement, or whatever it may be, most of those students I talked to or posts I have seen all have one trait in common: they focus on the negative.  

Yes, I will admit, there are things about Mason that do not resonate well with me. I do not like the traffic during peak class times, my residence hall is far away (Lincoln Hall), and I can never choose between Panda Express and Chipotle, but these complaints are vastly overshadowed by what I love about Mason. There are so, so, so many opportunities here to get involved, have fun, and, most importantly, learn. Here is the caveat though: you have to seek them out!  

In most situations, unless your last name is Kardashian, you have to get out there and work for good things to happen. I found that thus far college is very similar. With programs such as the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR), Mason Innovation Lab, Career Services, and countless others, students can find ways to supplement their education in a myriad of ways. However, as students we have to actively seek out these opportunities. These offices and programs are eager to have students learn more about what they can offer you and are ready to help you succeed. We can all agree that we are paying a lot of money to go to college, so we might as well take advantage of what Mason is offering us.

College is what you make of it. Like any college, workplace, or favorite restaurant, there are pros and cons. It is way too easy to find things to complain about in life,  and rarely do you find someone writing a letter or calling a business to compliment their services. It is exactly the same here at Mason. Yes, that one professor is not so great, and oh yeah, have you heard about the construction? We have all had similar conversations. It is too easy to find things to bash on, but how easy is it to find good things around us at Mason?  

It is really, really, easy. How about the one of many professors who remembers your name and who is really looking out for you as a person? What about the amazing programs that the Student Health and Advocacy Center hosts such as The Vagina Monologues and Mason Ninja Warrior? Or perhaps the fact that we have a Chipotle on campus. The list is truly endless. It is so easy to find clubs, organizations, or events to join at Mason that can really help shape your college experience. As I said, college is what you make of it. If you go out there, challenge yourself, and leave yourself open to new experiences then the possibilities are endless.  

To find more information on the fabulous programs Mason has to offer visit atoz.gmu.edu for a full list of departments and programs.

Photo by Nicolas Macotto