I was a first generation college student. My mom never finished high school, and my dad got his GED. I had no older siblings, and no close relatives who had completed college, either. So when it came to picking a college, applying, getting financial aid, and generally navigating the “college experience,” I was basically flying blind. Still, I was lucky; my parents were extremely supportive, giving me the time and space and emotional support to do what I needed to do. While they couldn’t give me much advice on the technicalities of getting through college, they were always willing to help out however they could. Not everyone has as much support as I did.
But there are many, many things I wished that I had known before I started college and as I made my way through those four years. While I could probably write an entire book on the Things I Wished I Knew, I have decided to narrow some more important points down for this post.
So, whether you are a first-generation student like I was or just someone who is looking for a little bit of advice on navigating the murky college waters, I present to you my Top 5 Things I Wished I’d Known as a First Generation College Student.