Helping Your Student Prepare for the Year Ahead

Whether your student will be heading off to Mason for the first time in the fall or returning for a second or third year, it is important to talk to him or her about how to prepare for the academic year. To help, we have compiled a few questions to 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 can lead to further discussions around your student’s interests, his or her hobbies, and ways he or she can take advantage of opportunities at Mason to further explore those interests. Mason has a variety of student organizations and student jobs that present unique opportunities for your student. Encourage your student to check out Student Involvement’s website for a list of registered student organizations and Unversity 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- or off-campus, college living situations can be an area of both excitement and anxiety. To assist students with this situation, Mason offers a number of housing-related resources.

If your student will be living on-campus, Housing and Residence Life offers a multitude of 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

If your student will be living off-campus, encourage him or her to check out Off-Campus Student Services, which serves as a centralized resource for academic and social engagement opportunities for off-campus students. Additionally, they provide an off-campus housing locator for students still searching for housing options in the fall. For more information about off-campus housing, advising and programming, click here.

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 possible 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. The Center for the Advancement of Well-Being also offers resources for wellbeing practices including meditation, positive psychology, and leadership. To learn more about the programs 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 he or she purchases a parking permit online at Parking passes for the 2017-2018 academic year will be available beginning on Monday, July 24 here.

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!

Lindsey Conner
Project Coordinator
Orientation and Family Programs and Services