Tue, 03/17/2020 - 11:30am
Congratulations trailblazer; you got this. Your hard work and determination paid off. Now college acceptance letters are rolling in and it's time to take your place at the table as a college student. Regardless of whether you are going to your local community college or to a faraway university across the country (or world), it's time to take your show and skills on the road to success.
As a first-generation college student, you're a symbol to your family, friends, cousins, and siblings. They're proud of this accomplishment, and no pressure, you've earned this very important opportunity to seek your way through a higher education. It is a given that during your time in school you will face challenges, but remember these will be the experiences that make you, not break you. They will help you build your future and career.
As you prepare to take your place on campus, creating a hard-earned legacy of honor, respect, suffering, and victory, remember to learn in every situation, bad or good, and move on from there. You are establishing a new way to help your family for the generations to come.
Freshmen, whether first-generation or not, tend to be apprehensive about a great many issues. One of the main difficulties regarding this new journey deals with the absence of empathetic parents to mentor the first-generation students. These students need some advice in order to succeed and excel during their college careers. Many parents, no matter how loving and supportive they may be, just aren't equipped to provide the needed advice because they have not experienced being college students themselves.
So, here are some things to think about:
Success in college is dependent on preparedness and dedication. As a first-generation student, you need to know it's okay to ask questions. Questions lead to greater understanding. They help you pursue better grades and lead to graduating in you chosen major on time and with the knowledge you need to thrive in your chosen profession.
Most of the common challenges you will face center on finances and handling full or part-time work while maintaining your class schedule and grade point average. Students who pick a major they are passionate about fair better in these areas because they are more committed to finishing once they get started. According to a 2016 Atlantic article, nearly 90% of low-income first-generation college students don't graduate on time. Get a handle on your finances.
Keep doing the research that will help you meet your financial needs without unnecessary loans. Many schools offer scholarships targeted specifically to first-generation students and encourage them to attend college and to promote diversity in their campus population. You should also seek help from your high school guidance counselor about resources and financial aid available to undergraduate students.
Realize that you belong, too. There was a time for celebration, shock, and awe, but that was before you arrived at campus. You're at school now, don't look back; now it is time to make the difference you are meant to make. Your parents never attended college, but just know that they are there with you now. Your victory will be for the whole team!
Don’t wait to seek mentors and academic support once you’re on campus. Many schools now offer programs specifically created to aid first-generation student's transition in their degree program and desire to be a successful college student.
Go to Class.
Go and go regularly. Take good notes. If this is your first time being away from home and on your own, you may be tempted to skip class and jump into a life of parties, video games, and more parties. Recognize from the start that going to class is the best option between the three! Nothing hurts quite like a poor grade at the end of the semester because you missed too many lectures. Just go to class.
They’re irreplaceable. Many students think studying alone is a better option, but statistics show that those students who study in groups do better in the classroom and on exams. Study groups help students understand the subject in a deeper way than studying alone. Groups instill discipline and encourage participation in addition to many other benefits.
Socializing has a place in your new world. Take time to allow relationships and friendships to grow organically. Don't fear to be alone, remember we live in the day of AI and technology. Maybe you were the only one in your hometown's senior class to head off to college—face time them and say, “hi!"
If you want to pursue an undergraduate degree look no further than University of the Cumberlands. With professors who have years of real-world experience in the same field they are teaching, very competitive tuition rates, and a sense of honor in everything we do, and the support you are looking for from day one, why look any further? See what UC has to offer by contacting an admissions counselor for more information