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10 Tips for First-Generation College Students

Top 10

These tips will get you started!

  1. Find your people. Get to know your classmates, Residential Hall Community Assistant (CA) and other students in your major. Find a mentor or someone you look up to who can help guide you on your way.
  2. Attend class regularly. Approach college like a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job. The value of attending each day of class is approximately $60 for each 3-credit class you take.
  3. Review your class syllabi. Your syllabus will tell you your professor's expectations of you as a student, when assignments are due, how your grade will be calculated, and lots of other important information.
  4. Learn how to learn. You might need to study differently in college than you did in high school. When possible, schedule homework and studying during your most productive time of the day.
  5. Get involved in campus life. Whatever your interest, there is a student organization for you.
  6. Get to know your academic advisor and professors. They are here to help you! Scheduling a meeting with your academic advisor and utilizing your professors’ office hours can be a game changer.  
  7. Advocate for yourself and use available resources. College is hard! Use the free academic resources like Study Hub, tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, success advising, and disability services. Be sure you ask for help when you need it.
  8. Use your time wisely. Balance your academics with life. Use the 8-8-8 Rule each day: 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of school (attending classes and studying), and 8 hours for everything else.
  9. Create a budget. College can be expensive, but is a great investment in yourself and your future. There are resources to help you create and manage a budget:
  10. Believe in yourself. Remember it is normal to struggle. You might feel stressed or overwhelmed by the new college environment. You are not alone.

    Use your support network such as your advisor, trusted professor, Student Counseling Services, and the Wellness Center to help you navigate college and handle your stress in a healthy way.

believe in yourself