We all know that college is expensive and is getting even more costly with time. Due to the high cost, higher education often becomes unavailable to many people from lower-income households.
According to statistics, the number of people who didn’t attend college reached 70% (or even more) in some years in the US alone. This led to generations of families where no one ever received a degree. And if you become the first in your family to shoot for the stars, it can surely feel incredibly overwhelming.
Despite many auxiliary tools like https://takemyclassesforme.com that help students succeed tremendously, first-generation students remain in the risk group. Although they aim high, they often face a massive number of challenges. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance to succeed.
Despite a common stereotype, first-generation students can achieve the same heights as their peers. They just need to know potential challenges and how to cope correctly. Read on, and we will help you break stereotypes and thrive as a first-gen student!
What Challenges Are First-Gen Students Facing?
You hope to become the first in your family to earn a degree. This is a great goal that can help you achieve future success. However, there might be specific difficulties on your path:
- Psychological challenges include shame, anxiety, confusion, and even family conflicts due to the lack of understanding from other family members.
- Academic challenges include difficulty understanding and navigating the educational system and a need for knowledge of how to prepare for college.
- Financial challenges. As mentioned earlier, many first-generation students come from lower-income households, which can impose additional financial restrictions and anxiety.
- Social challenges include stereotypes, stigma, discrimination, social isolation, a feeling of not “fitting in,” etc.
6 Tips to Thrive as a First-Generation Student
Indeed, all the challenges described above can get your way to success. Numbers confirm this: only 26% of first-gen students complete their degrees, unlike 82% of young people whose parents hold at least a BA. But don’t let this stop you!
Now that you know the issues, you are already better prepared for college and more likely to reach your goals. And to help you even more, we’ve compiled a list of the handiest tips that will make you thrive in school:
Do More Research
With role models who can explain how the academic system works and what to expect from college, it becomes your duty to figure it all out.
Look for more information online, speak with your friends and their families, take tours to different schools, and talk to professors. All these tips can help you learn more about the academic system and prepare for campus better.
Pick a Major Wisely
Research suggests that first-gen students often need help to pick a major and are less likely to opt for an advanced program, such as engineering or science. This could be due to the need for more role models and helpful advice from the family. But there are ways to make this choice more straightforward.
First of all, focus on discovering your passions. The best way to pick a major is to define what exactly you are interested in. Besides, this approach will make you much more likely to get through the entire program.
If you aren’t sure about your passions, use career planning help to get some ideas and always do a lot of research to learn more about different career paths and choose the right one.
Leverage All Resources Available to You
Modern schools offer a plethora of resources to students. These can include various financial aid programs, mentorship, counseling, tutoring, career services, etc. If you discover what your school offers you early on, you can leverage all available resources and use them to get through your degree program easier.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Studying isn’t easy. In college, you will face many challenges that can make you want to give up. But if you learn to ask for help when needed, your life can be much more straightforward.
Don’t hesitate to seek help from your professors, tutors, and even professional writers when struggling academically. This way, you can solve a wealth of problems.
Manage Your Time
College can be incredibly tough. But it’s exciting too. There will be plenty of extracurriculars, events, and opportunities that you will want to capture to make the most out of this time. And you should catch these opportunities.
But you must remember to manage your time wisely. Don’t overload yourself, and learn to prioritize. This will help you a lot on your path to a degree.
Find a Good Support System
Lastly, the most essential tip for first-generation students is finding a solid support system. Being the first one from your family in college can be emotionally challenging. You may feel scared, anxious, or lonely. All these feelings are natural. But coping with them on your own isn’t an option.
A sound support system of family, friends, and mentors can help you reduce stress and handle all this pressure most healthily. So, don’t attempt to struggle with it all on your own.
The Bottom Line
Being the first in your family to attend college is honorable and exciting. Yet, it’s rather scary. Indeed, many first-generation students face many problems that hold them back from graduating. But you have the power to change this!
Use the knowledge and tips from this article to prepare for your academic path and quickly get through college.