Tips and Recommendations for First Generation College Students
There are many ways to get involved at UNC Asheville. We offer over 50 student organizations, intramural sports, lectures, performances, sporting events - and the list goes on. Getting involved at UNC Asheville is also a great way to build a support system on campus, one that will be available to you when things get difficult or to cheer you on!
Don’t be shy
Introduce yourself to other students, faculty, and staff. These are people who are passionate about students; that’s why they’re here! Having them within your network of support can also serve as a great resource for you as you make your transition into the campus community
Use your resources
There are lots of departments and organizations on campus that are committed to helping you succeed. Seek them out, whether through email or making an appointment with someone. If you don’t know where to begin, check with the Office of Transition and Parent Programs; we’ll get you pointed in the right direction!
The campus community is committed to providing you with all the information you need to be successful, but sometimes this will require you to seek it out yourself and ask for clarification when needed. If you are feeling lost in a class, ask your professor for ways that you can get more information. All it takes is simply asking the question and showing a willingness to let others join you in the search for the answer. Don’t forget - here at UNC Asheville, we pride ourselves on being a small campus that facilitates meaningful interactions for students, faculty, and staff.
The college experience is one that cannot be replicated anywhere else. You will meet people from near and far, young and old, like-minded as you, and those that are not. This is a great time to step out of your comfort zone and learn more about others; you’re bound to learn a great deal about yourself during this process as well! Best of all, this process will allow you to find a new hobby, new foods, new interests, and new friends!
This is one of the first - and most important steps - you can take to build a strong foundation for success at UNC Asheville. The embark Orientation program is designed to provide you with all the information and resources you need as you begin your career here at UNC Asheville, which includes the opportunity to meet other students.
If you are having a difficult time transitioning to campus, whether it is classes, roommate issues, or feeling homesick, seek support from your friends, as well as staff or faculty members whom you trust. The Health and Counseling Center is a great resource when you need that extra support. It is also okay to call home when you need it - talking with family can be beneficial to recharge and receive some encouragement.
Find and maintain a balance
It seems like there is always so much going on all the time, and you do not want to miss a thing - and yet you have to be mindful to keep up with your classes and schoolwork in the midst of it all! Keeping up with a calendar or planner can help to balance all of life’s demands. Set aside study time each day that cannot be missed. Take time to take care of yourself, too, including sleep and exercise.
Ask for support from your family
It may be difficult for your family to understand what you are going through, but asking for their support can be really beneficial. Your family is proud of you and wants to be there in any way that they can, but may need some time to adjust to your new experience. Check in with them, tell them what your life is like on campus, and know that they are some of your biggest cheerleaders!