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Category: Uncategorized

This is College: Thoughts of a Peer Academic Advisor vol 2.2

Posted by smontiel - November 22, 2014 - Uncategorized
Peer Academic Advisor: Megan Goforth
Major: Psychology
Class: Senior

Hey everyone!

Finals are right around the corner, and for many of us, this is the most stressful time of the year. As a senior Ive been around the finals block quite a few times now, so here are my top 7 study tips to get you through finals!


  1. Start early.

I know this is a lot easier said than done, but starting a couple of weeks in advance really is the best way to tackle finals.  Cramming, while very popular, is actually a very ineffective way to study and can increase stress while preventing you from getting sleep, which brings me to my next point…



A brain without sleep doesn’t function nearly as well as one that is well rested.


  1. Alternate study spots.

Your brain forms subtle connections between the material and your environment. If you only study in one spot, your brain is going to have such a strong connection to that one specific location, it will be hard for you to recall that information later during your exam.


  1. Pick your study spaces wisely.

Your bed may be very comfortable, but it also will make you more liable to fall asleep. Also try to avoid places where you know you can be easily distracted.


  1. Discover your own personal study method

. Just because your roommate uses flash cards doesnt mean that they are the best study method for yourself. Do what works best for you.


  1. Find ways to be engaged in your study sessions.

Change the words to a song, Come up with pneumonic devices, or do whatever brings a little joy to your study time.


  1. Take breaks!

Don’t try to study all at once. After about 12 hours its really hard for your brain to learn any new information. Plan 15-30 minute breaks, go for a run, watch a tv show, or anything that will help relieve some stress.


  1. Relax.

Studying for finals can be extremely stressful, but it will all be worth it once you make the grade!


Good luck everyone! And may the curve be ever in your favor!

This is College: Thoughts of a Peer Academic Advisor vol 2.1

Posted by smontiel - November 22, 2014 - Uncategorized
Peer Academic Advisor: Dominic Fiedtkou-Leonard
Major: English, concentration in Cultural Studies with double minors in Psychology and Women & Gender Studies
Class: Junior

One of the major qualities of a successful college student is having the ability to engage in self-assessment. You need a firm and honest grasp of your strengths and weaknesses‒because let’s face it‒no one is good at everything. Having the ability to take a step back and acquire a fresh perspective is invaluable. This skill will aid you in numerous ways, but it is especially useful when deciding whether or not to drop a class. Remember, students drop courses for a variety of different reasons and it is never something to feel ashamed of. However, there are a couple of items one should consider before anything becomes set in stone:

  1. Do I need this class to graduate, and if so, am I willing to take it at a later point?

Depending on whether or not the course is required, it may be wiser to buckle down and stick it out, particularly if you are not that far along in your major.

  1. If I decide to drop this class, what will my new credit load be for the semester? How will this affect things such as financial aid, scholarships, insurance plans, etc.?

Typically, students who only drop a single 3-4 credit class retain their full-time status, but every case is different. Part-time students (those carrying fewer than 12 credits) are not eligible for the same opportunities as their full-time counterparts. Do your research!

  1. What is the real reason I am considering dropping this class? Are there any alternative methods or additional resources that I could try before giving up altogether?

Be brutally honest with yourself here. If you need assistance of any kind, seek it.

  • For students considering dropping a class due to academic overload there are a number of tools available. These include: Learning Services, Academic Counseling, and Tutoring, all of which are accessible through Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at
  • For students who may be experiencing personal issues that are affecting their performance in the classroom, the friendly and professional staff at CAPS also provide a wealth of services which focus on addressing mental health concerns.

The timeframe for dropping classes occurs at the beginning of each semester. While this period does extend further into the term, there is the issue of tuition penalty. The specific dates for these deadlines can be found on the Office of the University Registar’s website. Additionally, all undergraduate students are allotted three selective withdrawals during their time at Mason. These requests are only processed after the final drop deadline. The withdrawal is permanent and appears as a “W” on the student’s transcript meaning that it will be visible to graduate schools or future employers. While not the most ideal, it can save students by giving them one last opportunity to remove themselves from a problematic situation.
For more information about the selective withdrawal process including a link to the form that students must complete and submit to the Registar’s Office, visit:


At the end of the day, the best advice that I can give is to trust your gut.

Good luck!

Making Major Connections!

Posted by smontiel - November 17, 2014 - Uncategorized
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 18th, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Location: 3311 SUB I

The Making Major Connections is a social event focusing on the exploration of the various programs offered at George Mason University. We will be catering specifically to students who are undeclared or considering a possible change of major. In an effort to keep things casual and fun, we will allow students to mingle in a casual setting with designated representatives (who are also fellow students) form a wide variety of majors. The Peer Academic Advisors (PAAs) will be responsible for mediating these conversations and answering any general questions that the students may have. Refreshments will be provided and students are encouraged to come with any questions they may have about specific majors or programs.

PA Program fall 2014