Three Helpful Tips for ‘First-Gen’ College Success
Getting the hang of college is a pretty big leap for all new freshman, but it’s especially difficult for first generation students. Vinlisa Khoeum, a first-gen student at Loyola University New Orleans, is no exception.
As the daughter of Cambodian immigrants, Khoeum grew up in a small fishing community in New Orleans. She applied to Loyola with very little support, but managed to form a great group of friends and achieve a 4.0 grade average her first semester.
In an article for the Hechinger Report, Khoeum dishes out some helpful tips for other first-gen students who want to make the most of their experience:
1. Develop a clear career and personal focus. Khoeum says she chose Loyola because of its music offerings. “I’ve always been passionate about the arts — especially music,” she writes. “ Focusing on classes that I’m passionate about and that match my career goals has given me a source of motivation and drive.”
2. Seek out mentorship and support from those around you. Don’t be shy about asking for help! Before arriving on campus, Khoeum says that she thought faculty would be too busy to answer questions, but she found that they were always willing to lend a hand when asked.
3. Make plans to achieve your goals. Khoem has an ambitious goal of graduating with a 4.0 grade point average, and is actively working with the faculty and a success coach to make it happen. “I put in place a process for finding specific times of the day to work and stay organized, and found a balance between academics and my social life,” she says.