In the article, “Taking My Parents to College”, Jennine Capo Crucet discusses her experience as a first generation student. Neither her or her family knew what to expect when she signed up for college. Upon reading this, I hadn’t realized how hard it is for a first generation student to settle into college. A first generation college student will usually be completely on their own, as no one in the family has experienced it and do not have any advice to offer. What may seem simple or easy to some can be very difficult for students who are the first to attend college. Keeping this in mind can be crucial for making a first generation student’s college experience one to remember positively.

The article “Students Who Feel Emotionally Unprepared for College Struggle in the Classroom”by Kate Stoltzfus, discusses how many students entering college may not be emotionally prepared for the switch. Students that feel unprepared for college can end up achieving lower grades. Preparing students for the emotional and stressful college experience should be something that is done prior to college entry. Educating students about what they might experience, and letting them know that they are not alone, may help students become more independent.

The quote below (from the Kate Stolzfus article) emphasizes the emotionally unpreparedness that students face when entering college. For a first generation college student, like Jennine Capo Crucet, the struggle of not being emotionally prepared can be even more intensified.

“College truly can be some of the best four years of your life,” she said, “but not without a whole lot of support, guidance, and balance.” – Sonia D. Doshi

Briana Boyington, in her article “Prepare for College as a First-Generation Student”, discusses the vast emotional experiences that a first generation student may face during college. She also discusses summer-bridge programs that are offered for helping students make the transition. The article suggests that first generation students should find peer mentors to help them navigate their first year, while knowing they have support from someone who has been through it all.

“First-Generation College-Goers: Unprepared and Behind”, by Liz Riggs, discusses that in addition to being emotionally and academically unprepared for college, universities are not effectively equipped to help first generation students succeed. Many colleges and universities lack the proper programs and resources to help low-income first generation students flourish. The program I’m First, directed by Matt Rubinoff, is an online community resource aimed towards helping students prepare and offer them support during their college experience. This article also discusses scholarship opportunities that first generation students may not even be aware of.

Click here for an another awesome reference cite for first generation college students! It offers helpful links and tips for succeeding in college, as well as insight into what to expect during the journey.


Please join us for our upcoming Tuesday, October 20th session on “Teaching First Generation Students.” Our esteemed presenters include:

Lai-Monté Hunter, Director, Intercultural Leadership
Jeff Marlett, Professor of Philosophy/Religious Studies
Gina Occhiogrosso, Associate Professor of Art

Provisions’ sessions are from 12:-00-1:15 in Standish A&B. All are welcome and no reservations are required. Free lunch and refreshments will be available! Hope to see you all there!! 🙂

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