First In Your Family To Go To College?

FamilyWe know that many Carrington College students are the first in their family to go to college; if you’re one of them, congratulations! That’s a great achievement, and one you should rightfully be very proud of. But now that you’re here and have been accepted into college, the real work starts! Many first-generation college students can experience additional difficulties as they transition to college because their parents and siblings don’t have first-hand experience of attending college. And it’s not just younger students who have to deal with these issues; the same can be true for older students who have families or partners who are unaware of the demands of studying for a degree or certificate. Here are a few thoughts that you may want to consider and share with your family, so that you (and they) understand what you’re facing!

  • College is not 13th Grade… There are increased expectations from faculty members; the academic demands in college are far greater than high school.
  • I’ve adjusted my expectations, now it’s your turn… Once they get to college, students often have to adjust their expectations of what it will take to be successful, it’s up to parents/partners to do the same.
  • My freedom isn’t free… As an adult learner, rather than a school kid, you have to learn to manage the freedom afforded to you. Succeed or fail – it’s up to you.
  • Don’t underestimate what I’m doing… Many parents and partners can underestimate the demands of being successful at college. Remind them why you’ve made this commitment and ask for their support.
  • Support me…don’t distract me..! In order to be successful you need to minimize the distractions in your life, and that can include cutting back on certain commitments in family life. Ask for help with chores or your non college commitments. Can someone help share the load?
  • It’s about time management people… To maintain a balance, and cope with the increased demands, college students have to manage their time far more efficiently than they did in high school.
  • This was my choice…please respect it… Going to high school is an obligation, but choosing to go to college is a commitment to improving your future. It’s a commitment in terms of time, effort and money, so you need to make the most of the opportunity, and encourage those around you to do the same, to ensure you get the most out of your commitment.

There are six free audio slideshows on this link – First in the Family 1 – that you may find helpful as a first generation college student. Listen to other college students who have dealt with being the first in their families to go on to higher education, and take strength from their experiences. You may be the first in your family, but you’re not the 1st first-gen student to experience college, and you won’t be the last!   ©2012 Carrington Colleges Group. All Rights Reserved. Programs vary by location. 1

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