Mason Family Flash

Conversation Starters: Preparing for the Academic Year Ahead

Mason Students painting cubes

Whether your student will be heading off to Mason for the first time in the fall or will be returning for a second or third year, talking to him or her about how to prepare for the academic year is important. To help, we have compiled a few questions to help start the conversation about your student’s transition to Mason.

Have you thought about participating in any activities or organizations in the upcoming year?
This question could lead to further discussions of what interests your student holds, what his or her hobbies may be, and how he or she can take advantage of the opportunities in college to further explore those interests. Mason offers a variety of student organizations and student jobs that present unique opportunities for your student to further explore what they are passionate about. Encourage your student to check out Student Involvement’s website for a list of registered student organizations and University Career Service’s Hire Mason for a list of on-campus employment opportunities.

What are you excited about when it comes to your living situation for next year? What concerns do you have?
Whether your student is planning to live on campus or off, living situations in college can be an area of both excitement and anxiety. Mason, however, offers several different housing related resources that promote this excitement and help to calm any anxieties students may be experiencing. If your student will be living on campus, Housing and Residence Life offers many different programs and services designed to encourage students to engage with the university community and to promote Mason’s appreciation for diversity among residents. To learn more about everything that Housing and Residence Life has to offer and to gather more information about move-in day, encourage your student to visit

For those students who will be living off campus, Off-Campus Student Programs and Services serves as a centralized resource for academic and social engagement opportunities to meet the needs of students living off campus. Mason encourages all off-campus students to join the Off-Campus Council as a way to connect with other students and participate in fun and interactive events designed specifically with them in mind! To see more about the Off-Campus Council and learn more about all of the resources offered by Off-Campus Student Programs and Services, visit

How do you plan to manage your wellness while at college?
College can be stressful and it is important for students to consider their own well-being as they manage this stress. Mason Recreation values the holistic well-being and development of students and encourages the achievement of positive wellness goals, general fitness, social engagement, emotional well-being, and fun. Encourage your student to visit to learn more about the services Mason Recreation has to offer. Center for the Advancement of Well-Being also offers resources for well-being practices including mediation, positive psychology, and leadership. To learn more about the program and services offered by the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, visit 

What is your transportation plan for the fall?
Mason offers a wide variety of transportation options such as shuttles, carpools, and Zipcars for students. Learn more by visiting If your student plans to bring a car to campus, make sure they purchase a parking permit online at Parking passes for the 2014-2015 academic year will be available beginning August 1, 2014.

It is important that students feel prepared for the upcoming year, or years, ahead. These questions can spark the conversation to stimulate excitement about your student’s time at Mason and prepare him or her for the many opportunities in store!

Rebecca Kurihine
Graduate Assistant
Office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services