Who Are First-Generation Students?
A first-generation college student is an undergraduate student whose parents did not complete a 4-year degree. For many first-generation students, attending college means having to navigate a whole new realm of systems and processes without anyone to show them the ropes. This can feel lonely, confusing, and frustrating. If this sounds like you, know that your experience doesn’t have to end there. St. Thomas has lots of resources that can help you take charge of your journey and adapt mindsets and strategies to succeed in college and beyond.
“Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
Michelle Obama, former First Lady and first-generation students
On this page you’ll find career-specific advice and resources for first-generation students at St. Thomas. Here are 3 reasons you should engage with career services today:
- Find answers to career questions. Career Edge, the website you’re on, is brimming with resources and information to help you land your dream career after college. Scroll down to the “Recommended Resources for First-Generation Students” section to learn how to navigate these tools.
- Get tailored support. As a Career Educator, I find that meeting with a first-generation student more than once helps me understand the range of their experiences — career and otherwise. This knowledge enables me to offer relevant advice, give tailored recommendations, and enter into career conversations in more depth. Meet with a Career Educator early and often!
- Make the most of your education. Your tuition at St. Thomas pays for more than just your courses. It pays for all sorts of services and amenities on campus — from flu shots to water fountains to lifelong career appointments!
- Tommie Link: Find all kinds of events, gatherings, and student organizations at St. Thomas. Bookmark the Proud To Be First organization page to keep up-to-date on campus events for first-generation students.
- St. Thomas Connect: Reach out to Tommie alumni for advice, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Claim your student account today!
- Excel! Research Scholars Program: Considering grad school? This program is designed to equip first-generation and/or low-income and/or underrepresented for graduate school. Students in this program receive a stipend, dedicated assistance and mentorship, and travel and research opportunities.
- Center for Well-Being: Financial burdens and family pressures are just some of the challenges that first-generation students face during their time in college. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to schedule time with a counselor. Find a variety of services from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) including individual counseling and group therapy.