The Transition - First Generation College Students

Hello Everyone. Today was our final FirstGen meeting of the Spring semester here at the University of St. Thomas. Some of our students are about to walk across that graduation stage decked out in their well-deserved cap and gown attire. College Graduates! They've beat the odds. Their journey of becoming a college graduate is really coming true and I couldn't be more proud of them. Now's the time to make sure that you are reminding your first generation college students of this important transition and all that comes along with it:

  • Finals Encouragement - I've already had to remind at least two of my graduating seniors that now is not the time to slack off and lose sight of why you are in college. Take time to check in with them these last few weeks and provide them that much needed pep talk to finish your college career stronger than you started.
  • Keep Fear In Perspective - Feelings of fear is very visibile during this time for some and it could possibly stem from "What is my life going to be like after college" and "Am I really ready to enter the real world?" Be that sense of reassurance for them that they've accomplished history for themselves and their family and you know they will continue to succeed. Remind them about still connecting with Career Services even if they've landed a job already. Career Services can help to talk about preparing for your new job, what to wear in the new work place, and how can my university help me after graduation.
  • The Family Role - Some of your students have a good balance with graduating and including their family in this amazing celebration. However, some may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to include their family in preparing for this new journey. Teach students to continue to keep that important line of communication open with the family so they can discuss what's important about this time. Does the student really want a HUGE party the night of graduation or does she prefer a nice quiet dinner at home? This is not only a big time for the student, but their families have probably invested in the college journey too.

All in all, this is an exciting time for so many on our college campuses and we as professional staff have a chance to help in that experience. Please share your student's graduation stories (or even yours if your graduating...congrats!) here and also on Twitter. Don't forget to use the hashtag #EMchat as I would love to retweet and join in on your celebration! I certainly hope this helps you and the students you are trying to support!