Welcome to COMPASS!
We are glad you are taking some time to review this resource! In short, COMPASS is designed to "help you help yourself." Numerous resources and materials with COMPASS are designed as a helpful guide, to help YOU prepare and stay on YOUR course. As you will see, it is designed to help you with planning many aspects of your life.
If you are new to Mason and the college experience, these resources are prepared to help you maximize your success and continued enrollment. If you’ve been on campus for a while, you can benefit from modifications (some small and some larger) in various aspects of your life. You may know of these from your own self-reflection, or from feedback you’ve gotten from others.
Undergirding COMPASS is the belief that each of us can continually improve. We may make resolutions about our lives as we usher in a New Year, but every day we can determine ways of enhancing our lives. COMPASS offers numerous strategies and resources that can help you if you choose to take advantage of them.
What is COMPASS?
COMPASS is all about your success today as a student – and preparing for tomorrow after your life in the college environment. It is based on a positive approach, and emphasizes self-responsibility. It is based on the belief that each one of us can continue to improve with how we manage various aspects of our lives, whether academically, physically, interpersonally, spiritually, emotionally, or otherwise.
This resource includes information on 31 different topics, from stress management to exercise, and from spirituality to alcohol. Each of these topics has been carefully chosen as relevant to your success as a college student. If you’re interested in time management, for example, you can read the brief narrative about this topic, access resources, and make some plans for improving this for your life.
Specifically, COMPASS includes various resources and strategies that can be helpful for charting your own course. For each topic you will find the following:
- Articles written by Mason faculty or staff
- Campus resources with a brief description and web link
- National and regional resources with quick access to them
- Personalized self-assessment quizzes
- A worksheet to reflect on your life with respect to the topic
- A worksheet that helps you make plans for yourself for the future
How to use COMPASS
As noted, COMPASS has a lot of resources. This can be overwhelming if taken all at once. That’s why it is organized within 31 distinct topics – one for each day of the month! You’ll find that, every day, a new topic appears on the opening webpage. In fact, for a particular date of a month, the same topic will appear one month after another. This is designed on purpose, as it suggests that, for any of these issues connected to our maximum success, "we are never done."
Each day, we can take a look at the topic’s worksheet and reflect on where we are, and make some commitments about how we might improve that issue in the month to come and beyond. The next month, we can reflect on our progress, and determine the next steps for ourselves.
Another way of using COMPASS is to identify a specific topic of interest, and to explore that topic and make ways of improving it. We might take the topic’s quizzes, read the essays, look at some of the resources, and determine how we might apply this to our lives.
We can also be more exploratory, seeing what some authors have to say about one or more topics. We might learn something that we previously did not know, or we might be inspired to act in different ways about the topic.
Finally, a series of quotes are embedded throughout the website. Every time a page is refreshed, a new quote within one of the seven thematic areas pops up. These quotes are linked to the theme within which the specific topic is found. In total, 360 quotes are included within COMPASS, representing the degrees on a compass.
Enjoy your journey!
We believe that the spirit of and resources associated with COMPASS can help you significantly with your success in college. These resources do take time; however, this is an investment from which you’ll undoubtedly see rewards in the weeks and months to come.
Best wishes for an enjoyable journey!