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  1. Sep 2019
    1. Aside from a check-in with my financial aid officer when she explained what work-study was (I didn’t know and worried it meant I had to join the army or something) and where she had me sign for my loans, I was mostly keeping to myself to hide the fact that I was a very special kind of lost.

      Finding support groups on campus can be helpful when you are feeling kind of lost. I'm a first-gen student, and just knowing that I'm part of academic support programs like EOP, Metro, and ScholarMatch makes me feel more relieved that I'm not all by myself on my college journey.

    2. Other parents — parents who have gone to college themselves — might have known at that point to encourage their kid to go to office hours, or to the writing center, or to ask for help. But my mom thought I was as alone as I feared.

      I believe this happens a lot to many first-gen students because usually, their parents are not knowledgeable about how difficult college is. For instance, when I started applying to colleges I couldn't ask my family for support, so instead, I just asked teachers at school and they helped me a lot to complete applications and financial aid. When you are a first-gen student, you have to be more independent and look for resources that are going to help you be successful at achieving your academic goals.

    1. Both Bowdoin and Trinity colleges, for example, waive application fees for first-gen students; Pitzer College has a few endowed scholarships. The University of Wisconsin just began offering free tuition for first-gen transfer students, while Duke last year created one of the most generous, comprehensive programs of all. It will select 240 first gens to attend for free all four years; they will receive a computer, books and travel between semesters at no cost.

      I'm surprised that some schools are trying to create change by supporting first-gen students. Just by getting free tuition and not having to worry at all about how you are going to pay for college, can make a big difference in students' lives. But it also makes me wonder if these universities are not only trying to fill a gap, trying to make their college look like they care but if they also have the resources that these students who are just starting their college journey need to succeed.

    2. “To me, that boy was first gen all the way. He wasn’t raised by his father.”

      I agree with this statement because the boy didn't benefit from his dad's education since his dad died when he was young. I think being a first-gen student also applies to those whose parents got an education outside the U.S. but when they moved here their education wasn't valid. I've known a couple of friends whose parents went to college in a Latin America country but are not really able to find a job using their degree.

    1. Graduates are also happier and healthier. No wonder that virtually all affluent children go to college, and nearly all graduate.

      From the way I see it, wealthy kids, of course, are happier and healthier than low-income kids. I mean, the number of challenges they face is not even close to what students from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds face. Wealthy students are automatically put into the top of this college hierarchy that exists in our education system, while all other students have to climb their way to the top.

    2. He did well enough in high school to attend many colleges but — as frequently happens with low-income students — was not willing to leave home at age 18 for an unfamiliar world.

      Students coming from low-income families face more challenges when it comes to getting an education. Financials is one of the most critical aspects for disadvantaged students in deciding whether or not they are going to be attending college. Another aspect that also plays a big role for students who are not only low-income but also first-gen is getting the emotional and informational support they need. Students who are the first ones in their family to attend college might often feel they are alone in their college journey. I think that can lead students to feel depressed, and eventually drop out or not attend college at all.

    1. “Everyone is able to think in words, everyone is able to think in mental images. It’s much better to think of everyone having a toolbox of ways to think, and think to yourself, which tool is best?”

      Even though you may think you are a certain type of learner, many other styles can be good for you. I think it also depends on what you are trying to learn. Perhaps a “visual style” can be good for learning math, just as kinesthetic can be good for learning science. As the writer mentioned earlier, “people aren't really one certain kind of learner or another”, so just being open to different learning styles, and not only attaching to one, can be very beneficial.

    2. He wasn’t the first to suggest that people have different “learning styles”—past theories included the reading-less “VAK” and something involving “convergers” and “assimilators”—but VARK became one of the most prominent models out there. More Stories Schools Are Missing What Matters About Learning Scott Barry Kaufman How the Stress of Racism Affects Learning Melinda D. Anderson Why Soviets Sent Dogs to Space While Americans Used Primates Marina Koren Rumors Are Swirling Around a Black-Hole Discovery Natalie Wolchover Quanta

      It's important to acknowledge that different people may have a preferred learning style. If you don't understand anything that is being taught to you, it doesn't necessarily mean you are not smart or capable. It might just be that is not the best way for you to learn. I remember learning about VARK in a college success class. I took the VARK questionnaire and found out I was more of a visual learner. This made sense because, for many of my classes, things would make more sense to me if they were shown with graphics, diagrams or maps.