The transition from high school to college is scary for every incoming freshman, but some of us, me included, don’t have the guidance from our parents or guardians to help us when college gets tough because we are first generation students. Here are a few things to remember about this change.

Don’t give up!

On my first day after the very first class I thought to myself, “I am not cut out for this” and wanted to quit. I remember thinking that I was out of place and because my parents did not go to college I wasn’t meant to either. But that is wrong! I pushed through and am now a senior about to graduate. After the first couple weeks I got the hang of it and you will too, just apply yourself and set a routine.

Everyone is going through the same thing!

Even if a person is not a first gen student, they are also going through the same transition into college. My first friends in college were not first gen students, but they had almost all of the same worries as me. I am almost certain at this point that the thought of dropping out because the change is too much has gone through every student’s mind at some point during their freshman year. That thought goes away over time.

Professors want you to succeed!

Despite what you might think, professors are rooting for you. Even the scary professors want you to succeed. Professors are usually understanding and will not give you more than they think you can handle. I have found that if you are struggling to keep up or need an extension on an assignment that going to a professor and explaining yourself is the best thing to do and more often than not they will give you an extension.

WSU has resources to help guide you!

Winona State has helpful tips on how to navigate your way through school. By going to an advisor or really any staff you can ask them tips on how to make it in college. The professors have seen every type of student and will know how to guide you, if you ask. As a freshman, I went to a staff member and asked them if it seemed like a good idea for me to drop out, thankfully they advised me not to by giving me helpful resources and tips I could use as I navigate my way through. I am still here because of that staff member, and I am grateful for their advice!

Authored by Lucy LaValley ’21

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