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First in the Family Quotes

Being the first in your family to attend college can be tough. There is a lot to get used to and at times it is a little overwhelming. But you are not alone. Many of the students at UW Oshkosh are first-generation students, and they want to help you out.  

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"I was afraid of the whole college experience. Everything is so new: new city, new friends, new classes and new challenges. Up until this point in my life, I lived at home and could depend on my parents. In college you have a lot of freedom and choices to make. When I came to college, I made the best of my time by getting to know the campus, meeting people on my floor and making friends. College is when you will have the most free time in your life and I chose to use it by getting involved in different organizations on campus. I took advantage of the resources around me and now I have a group of friends that I can depend on even when my parents are not around. It is natural to feel out of your comfort zone in college, but when you embrace the new and take on challenges, soon you will feel at home."


"My fear was that classes would put a lot of stress on me, but as an adult with responsibilities, you have to overcome that with time management. If you stick to a solid routine, it's easy. I don't live on campus, but from what I hear it's one of the best college decisions you can make to ensure you have a great experience and meet tons of new people."


"I feared the unknown coming into college. Not knowing what to expect and having no one tell me what to expect was difficult. I overcame these fears with excitement. Sometimes the unknown is better than the known."


"My biggest fear was failing and my family being disappointed in me. I struggled at first but after dedicating myself through hard work I began to succeed. There really is nothing more rewarding than making your parents hard work and sacrifices worthwhile."


"Homesickness is tough. It was really difficult to get over that. I was worried about not making friends because I grew up with the same friends my entire life. I made friends within the first couple of days."


"I did not know what to expect from college because no one in my immediate family has graduated from a four-year university. I overcame these fears by using all of the great resources Oshkosh has to offer, especially the advising office. I was determined to become a nurse since I can remember and Oshkosh is helping me succeed my goal."


"Some fears that I had coming to college was that I wasn't going to be able to do it because it seemed so hard to do. My parents did not go because of money issues, so at one point I thought I was not going to be able to pay for it either. To overcome these fears I looked into ways I could set myself up to do well and ways to receive more financial aid. Don't let people tell you that you can't do it!"


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"A challenge that I had to face was showing my parents that what I was doing here at UW Oshkosh was useful and was making myself a more well-rounded individual. I am learning a great deal and I had to show them that college is worth my time." 


"I was very nervous about meeting people. I'm not very outspoken and tend to be shy, so I was concerned about that. Also this is the first time I have ever been on my own before. I overcame the fear of not meeting people by leaving my door open all the time and getting to know the people on my floor."


"I wish I knew how important It was to get involved on campus. My freshman year, I basically just hung out with my friends, worked and did homework. When sophomore year came around, I knew I wanted to try new things. I branched out and got involved in Reeve Union Board, Converge and Pulse. I learned that there is so much more to college outside of the classroom. If I did not get involved, I would not have changed my major and discovered what I truly want to do in my future. My experience on campus opened doors for internships and enhanced my resume. The college experience is so valuable and I encourage every student to get plugged in with an organization on campus that their interested in. You won't regret it!"


"Go big or go home. Try anything and everything that seems interesting. You'll regret it if you don't."


"Advice I have for incoming first-generation students is first do not be afraid to go to college and reach your goals and dreams because even though our parents didn't get the opportunity to do so doesn't mean we shouldn't. Also read as much as you can before coming to college because when you get here you will be doing a lot of it. Words of wisdom I have from incoming, first-generation students are take advantage of all the resources available here on campus like for example Student Support Services, which is for first-generation students, and join an organization or club because there are endless possibilities here and they'll make your time here worthwhile."


"I wish I knew how different college would be compared to high school. No matter how much information your teachers, family and friends tell you about college, there's no way to know what it is really like until you experience it."


"Don't sweat the small stuff and cross bridges when you come to them and not before. The summer before my freshman year, I was worried that I wouldn't like my roommate and that my professors would be hard graders. What were the showers going to be like and was I going to find my classes on the first day? These worries may sound foolish, but I couldn't help it. However, I wish that I wouldn't have spent so much time worrying about little things that ended up not even mattering in the grand scheme of my university experience. So, my advice to you: don't waste your time worrying about hypothetical situations and learn to be flexible. Often times, things are not going to turn out how you have imagined but a million times better. That's what UW Oshkosh does, it opens your mind to thousands of different possibilities that you never dreamed possible. Enjoy it, soak it in… it is the experience of a lifetime!"


"Don't be afraid to be yourself.  Don't change who you are to make friends, it's not worth it."


Ask for help. Just because you ask doesn't mean you've failed. There will always be people here on campus who will listen and help you. Use your time wisely and don't procrastinate, because it will haunt you later and show on your exam scores. Hard work always pays off. Study smart, not hard.