A first-generation college student is any student whose parent(s) or guardian have not completed a four year degree. This can be a challenging position, as you may not have a clear idea of what to expect from a university setting.
We want to help students support their personal and professional endeavors with the goal of promoting well-being in all aspects of their life.
First-Generation college students may experience difficulties such as:
- Managing Stress
- Feeling pressure to be successful
- Academic demands
- Feeling like an imposter
- Periods of sadness
- Substance abuse
- Lack of belonging
- Financial concerns and worries
- Difficulty managing school and family responsibilities
- Worry about lack of support at home
- Feeling overwhelmed by all of the college details
- Relationship problems
- Social problems
- Coping with harassment or discrimination
- Identity development (including sexual identity)
First Generation College Student Services at Carruth:
We offer a variety of services to help the above areas of concern. We encourage you to reach out to make an initial appointment to discuss with a counselor what areas you may be struggling with and what we can do to help assist you. Also check out our Group Counseling which offers a great way to connect with other students who have experienced similar worries/concerns.
Tips to help you transition to college:
College can be more challenging without social connections. Attending events, joining a student organization, and talking to others in your residence hall are good ways to build social support.
Don't try to do it all on your own.
No one expects you to figure everything out on your own. Ask other students, professors, or other university staff any questions you might have. Our resources listed below may be a good step to getting connected with appropriate help. There is much more help available than most students realize. The transition to college can be challenging; it will also be important to talk about your experiences with others. If you can find an upperclassman or another first-generation college student, they could prove an invaluable resource.
Manage your time effectively.
College requires a delicate balance of academics, socialization, family responsibilities, and sometimes work. Time management is important and it is worth noting that college requires more of an academic focus than high school. If you miss class and assignments, not every professor is going to keep you informed of this or allow you to make it up. Be sure to review your class syllabus from time to time to ensure you are on track with your work.
Utilize Campus Resources
Take advantage of the support services WVU has to offer. These services exist for a reason and can help you navigate the college terrain and feel understood and connected.
Resources for First-Generation College Students:
- First-Generation Initiatives - Offers academic help through student success programs and mentorship programming.
- Student Support Services - Provides tutoring, academic advising, financial aid assistance, activities, computer work stations, and general support to first generation college students.
- Carruth Center for Counseling and Psychological Services
- Eberly First Generation Faculty
Business & Economics First Generation Faculty
- Office of Student Success - T he Office of Student Success offers free tutoring, individual academic coaching, and seminars on topics such as ti me manage ment or test prep aration.
- Career Center - Assistance with choosing a major, job searches, resume building, and more.
- Eberly Writing Studio - Peer consultants are available to assist with improving your writing.
- WVU McNair Scholars Program - A scholarship for first generation students and/or students from an underrepresented group who are considering graduate school.
- WVU Financial Aid