Are You Ready?
You may not be taking the right classes. If your parents didn’t go to college, they may not be able to help you select the right classes while in high school. If they didn’t take the classes, they can’t help you with the homework either.
You may think there isn’t enough money. Here’s the deal: There is, but you have to know where and how to find it. If your parents didn’t go to college, they may not know how.
You may make the wrong choices about colleges. For-profit schools are really expensive and mostly are there just to steal money from people. Most people don’t graduate and those who do have huge debts and are unlikely to get a job in the field they studied. Plus, the class credits don’t normally transfer to other colleges, so students can’t continue their educations later if they want.
Many students don’t know what being a college student is like. They may not know anyone who went to college, they may not know what to expect, and it is scary to leave something they know and go for something they don’t.
Many students have to help their families. Many first-generation students work to make money or take care of younger brothers and sisters while a parent works. A lot of people feel guilty if they choose to leave their family to get an education. Remember, education is the key to making things better for your family from now on. Education is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
Many first-generation students choose to go to school part time. They attempt this in order to support their families. Because they are taking on so much responsibility and are making relatively slow progress in school, they often drop out. Again, education should be a priority. Family members will have to appreciate the work the student is doing.
Some families might even try to make the student feel guilty for leaving. Some family members think that if the student gets an education he will be “too good” to be with the rest of them. Many family members feel that getting education will somehow change the student in some bad way. They will feel abandoned. None of this is the student’s fault. Hopefully, family members will see that these fears are unrealistic. Even if they don’t, students can’t shape their lives based on other people’s fear.
A lot of families believe education is important, but see it as a luxury. It is something to do if you can afford it or have the time. They don’t realize that education is important the same way a home or transportation or food is important. It’s education that will make it possible to have these other things.
Often when students get to college, they feel very different from the people around them. Maybe they are minority students in a school that is mostly white. Maybe they don’t take advantage of all the chances to join in clubs or groups. Maybe they don’t know that things like getting tutoring or help from a professor are signs of being successful instead of failing – college is very different than high school!