Student Success Tips

Advice for First Generation Students

By Shayna Ede on April, 20 2021

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First-generation students are classified as students whose parents had not completed a bachelor’s degree. Whatever the situation may be, there are many ways for first-generation students to get help with their education!

Many experts say that first-gen students should seek academic help as soon as they begin to struggle, possibly even before that. There are very few ways parents can help when they have never faced these obstacles themselves but finding a tutor who understands what you are going through will save you in the long run. It is also helpful to find someone who you can answer your questions about non-academic things, such as dorm living, paying for college, and what you need to bring to campus.


It is also going to be beneficial to find a group of motivated students to help you kick start your motivation. I understand that some students are naturally motivated and are ready to do homework and go to class right off the bat, but there are just as many students who are not like that. Being motivated right away will help you when you are sick and can’t make it to class, because you could easily already know what is going on. That motivation you find with other people could help you get ahead and stay ahead to avoid any roadblocks to getting your degree.

Don’t ever be afraid of who you are. Do not ever be ashamed to say you are a first-generation student because you are being proactive and getting your degree. It’s a little bit like going to the gym for the first time. Yes, you will probably be nervous and believe that people are making fun of you, but they are not. The important thing is you are sitting in that lecture hall getting ready for your college classes, and that is a big step.

When first-generation college students (or any college students for that matter) see their first bill for their education, it can be a little overwhelming. It is hard to believe that doing such a good thing can come at such a large cost! This is why you need to be proactive about financial assistance. Scholarships exist for just about anything, and the FAFSA is time-consuming but easy to fill out. Find the right scholarships for first-generation students, whether it be through your high school or college. Paying is enough to stress anyone out, so don’t feel like you are alone! Along with finding free money, you also have the choice to take out student loans. If you get student loans, you must keep up with them and make sure you know how much you are taking out.

Another important thing to remember is to not overload yourself. Classes, work, clubs, and anything else you get involved in will take time, and many students will forget about the fact that they will still have homework and time to study. Maybe instead of doing a cannonball into the water, you should dip your toes in first. Start with a little bit, then join clubs and things like that after you get an idea of your schedule.

With all of that being said, the final tip I have for you is simple: don’t be afraid. Everyone is nervous to go to college but once you find your support system, it becomes less terrifying. Don’t be afraid to involve yourself in your residential hall, classes, sports, or anything else you may be interested in doing. College may be a stressful experience, but it can also be very exciting and fun!           

Shayna Ede

Hello! My name is Shayna Ede, and I am currently attending For Hays State University. In elementary school and even high school back in Colorado, I always thought writing was fun. I was the first to sign up for writing contests and English classes. I am majoring in Journalism, which seems quite fitting. I am in the marching band here at FHSU and I have a blast performing! When I’m not thinking about school, I like long talks with my family and friends, riding horses, and photography! I may be early in my years of college, but I have big plans to travel and see what this world has to offer after I graduate, while of course taking pictures and writing about the things I encounter!

 


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