Useful Tips For First-Generation Students


Are you going to start college life soon? That can be worrisome for those who are scared to step outside their comfort zones into a new life about which they are clueless.

It’s many times more challenging for someone who is going to be the first in his or her family to enter college. The pressures, expectations, and dreams are far bigger and scarier. How do you deal with all of this without feeling overwhelmed?

Tips and tricks to help first-gen college students navigate campus life:

As a first-generation student, you will face more challenges than others no doubt, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cope with these. Here are some easy ways to make this new journey in your life memorable and rewarding:

Embrace campus life: This is a unique opportunity for you and you should embrace it rather than run away from it. Most importantly, you should give yourself a pat on the back for having come so far. You are not only making your family proud but also your entire community. That should incentivize you to make the most of this opportunity. Even if you find yourself struggling in the initial months, remember that you are breaking barriers and gaining new experiences every step of the way.

Make your own circle: It’s important to make friends when you are the first in your family to attend college. It’s likely that you will feel isolated at the beginning, and even start to doubt whether college life is the right fit for you. That happens usually because you don’t have a strong support system to back you. Once you have found like-minded friends to hang out with, your doubts and fears will fade away.

Become a part of a network: Consider joining student organizations and clubs on campus to build a network. Networking is as important as studying; while your grades are important, those whom you know or have interacted with during the college years can turn out to be equally important. So, make an effort to interact with people and build relationships; you never know who can help you later on.

Try new things: The biggest advantage of campus life is the chance you get to try out new things and step outside your comfort zone. This can be a frightening thing to do, but once you have taken the first step, the rest becomes easy. Whether it’s participating in college fests and events, or joining clubs and student organizations, campus life has much to offer. Don’t let go of new opportunities to showcase your talent or discover new interests.

Ask for help: Since you are the first in your family to attend college, it’s quite possible that you may not have anyone to talk to about college stuff at home. The result? You don’t even realize when you have a problem, and even if you do, you are scared because you have to resolve it on your own, without any help. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Whether you need someone to talk to or get advice for academics, you can reach out to people on campus. Professors are available after class to answer your questions and extend their help when needed. You can find out about tutors from peers; a little bit of help can help you cope with the new coursework. And, of course, there are study groups where you learn and also get the chance to teach. In the process, you end up making new friends. So, it’s a win-win situation, right?

Be true to yourself: Campus life can be a lot of fun but it’s also a lot of hard work. You get a chance to reinvent yourself. Instead of trying to do everything that your classmates are doing, look at what makes you happy. Don’t change yourself to fit in; be honest with yourself and see what you are good at.

Use these tips to make a smooth transition to college life. Be proud of what you have achieved and set goals for yourself to live up to. Every experience, good or bad, will shape your personality.