First In Your Family

Those of us who were the first in our families to go to college face some particular challenges. The biggest challenge is not having a trusted mentor to guide our decisions.

Buzz Today Source: First in the Family A first in the family student: “Everyone was telling me to go in there and get a business degree. I don’t know what the reason was but, yeah, sure, I’ll do it. I think that was another reason I struggled in early college. Why do I need to know this? As soon as I shifted over to political science I was loving it.”.

We see in the BUZZ Today quote how the absence of a trusted mentor impacts success in college. Notice this student was taking the advice of “everyone”. Business was what others steered him to with little regard for what fit him. In fact, what “everyone” was saying was what they thought about him and about business. Probably the “everyone” didn’t know very much about either one.

Those that come from a family where college education was the experience of earlier family generations have a real advantage.  Not only do the family elders have the experience of college, they have two equally important things to bring to the first in the family college student.

Knowing how to register for classes and where to look for scholarships are important, but there even more important things. A mother or father with a college degree know their son or daughter. As parents who have, for eighteen years, spent almost every day with their child, they know that child. They know their likes and dislikes. They know their habits and above all they know what motivates them. Without motivation all is lost. So the educated parent can act as a mentor and avoid the “everyone” advice in the BUZZ Today quote.

But even more important, the parent is a trusted adviser. The son or daughter knows the parent after nearly two decades in the relationship. It is that trust which can help the student avoid the risk of losing motivation because the courses simply do not fit who they are.

In the end, every first in the family college student needs a trusted source of advice and guidance. A good place to start is with the book Your Future is Calling.

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