5 Tips For A First-Generation IT College Student

As a first-gen student, you face expectations unlike any other. You’re trying to figure out how to make your parents proud, how to make new friends, how to live on your own for the first time. There’s no denying it’s tough, so we want to make it a little easier. 

Get ready for campus life by reading our five tips for being a first-generation college student below.

1. Apply for Scholarships 

If you’re a first-generation college student, you may have additional financial stressors others don’t. Thankfully, there are great scholarships out there specifically for you — and plenty are offered by former first-gen students. 

Jasdeep Singh created a scholarship in honor of his parents, who valued education and helped their son through secondary schooling. Apply to as many of these opportunities as you can to help alleviate the financial burden college places on you. 

2. Get Involved 

College isn’t just about locking yourself in your dorm and studying — it’s a time to have fun and discover yourself. 

Joining clubs, attending school events, and participating in campus activities will help you feel more at home. Fostering your social life is almost as important as handling the academic side of things (just ensure you find a nice balance). 

3. Understand Your Limits

Chances are, you’re on your own for the first time. You’re away from your routine and juggling a schedule that revolves solely around you. There’s no denying it’s difficult figuring out what and who to prioritize. 

The trick is to prioritize your physical and mental well-being. This may mean saying no, denying an extra project, or opting out of a social situation. Burnout is very, very real, and taking on too much puts you at risk. 

4. Assess Your Study Habits

Don’t base your study habits on those around you. Your roommate may be able to absorb all their info from the lecture alone, leaving him plenty of time to party. But that doesn’t mean your brain works the same way. 

In your first semester especially, take the time to determine what method of studying works best. You may have solidified certain habits in high school, but as college coursework is more involved and requires advanced understanding, your study sessions will need to keep up. 

5. Network

Some people with connections — they’re legacies, their parents were in a particular sorority or frat, etc. — and some don’t. If you’re a first-gen student, there’s a high chance you’re in the latter group. But don’t panic; college is the perfect way to make the connections you need. 

Picture-perfect academics isn’t the only way to jumpstart your career. A 2016 survey concluded 85% of jobs are filled because of networking. 

So, don’t be afraid to attending dedicated networking events. Have that elevator pitch in your back pocket. And, for the love of all things good, take advantage of your professor’s office hours! Before you know it, these foundational relationships may present you with a career path. 

Final Thoughts & A Bonus Tip

It’s time to let go of the expectations you think others have of you. College is a time to discover your interests and explore potential career fields you’ve never thought possible. So, meet new people, join fun clubs, and explore your hobbies in full. 

It’s challenging to decide what you want to do at 18, even more so when you feel the pressure to make your family proud. But chances are, they already are. Use this opportunity for yourself and see what the future holds. 

The Best Strategies for Teaching Story Structure in Your Classroom

Writing accomplishes so much for the writer. It helps him look at areas of his life that may be uncomfortable to confront directly, it gives him a way to communicate ideas that he cannot voice orally, and it gives him a craft. There are few successful writers that are completely self-taught. The art of writing should be learned beginning in the primary grades and continued through a lifetime. That is because without some fundamental knowledge, building a story becomes a daunting task. Writers must understand structure, but how do you best teach story architecture in a classroom? Some of the best strategies are the easiest. A few of these are the SWBST, familiarization and the outline worksheet.

SWBST

The acronym stands for “somebody wanted to…but…so then….” This is perhaps the most basic of tools for teaching creative writing. There are many types of stories like flash fiction (which typically is only 500 words or less), short stories and, of course, novels. The thing is that a novel is like a forest in which a writer can get lost. Plot, characters and other elements of a good story seem to blur. The SWBST outline is a fundamental blueprint that helps writers, even experienced ones, keep track of the story direction and the character’s objectives. Students who follow this simple step build characters who have objectives, create conflict for them to overcome and then resolve the problem.

Familiarization

This actually is an introductory strategy. As they read together, students are led through a process in which they identify the elements of good storytelling. They see the main character and understand what that character wants, they determine the obstructions in achieving that goal and they observe how the character overcomes ( or is frustrated by) those barriers. Used with elementary students, this method can utilize fairy tales. With older students, more complicated plot lines such as those in classic novels like “Catcher in the Rye” or “Grapes of Wrath” or even structure in modern books like the “Twilight Series” can be used.

Outline Worksheet

Ask some writers how they determine plot, and they will say that their characters tell them what to write. While that sounds like a spurious answer, given to dismiss the question, it is actually to-the-point and in line with this teaching tool. Novel writing worksheets include several aspects of the novel creation including character development. Similar to the SWBST method, students using a novel outline worksheet create characters using physical characteristics, personalities and other components, develop a plot in which the characters attempt to reach a goal despite opposition and understand how a theme can drive a plot.

Creative writing can be very satisfying, and when someone besides the writer can understand the theme of a story, identify with the characters and enjoy the plot, the satisfaction increases. For more information about a novel outline worksheet and how to use it, visit Adobe’s Education Exchange. A teacher who can communicate these concepts may not have a future Steinbeck in his classroom, but he will teach a craft the pupil can enjoy for a lifetime.

How to Get into a College?

Do you want to get into the college of your dreams?

If you are, then we have some insights that will help you get enrolled.  These guidelines will help you prepare for the admission process and get in your dream college without an issue. So, mind these tips and make preparations beforehand; it will save your skin.

Set Your Mind

If you want to get into a college, be specific about it. Learn what you want in life, your ambitions, and your reasons. Do you search before making your mind? Research and ask around, talk to others who have some experience. Get in touch with an educational counselor. If someone in your family is an alumni, get some information from them.

Start Early

This may sound like cliché, but there is no elevator of success. So, you need to take the stairs. To get what you want, you need comprehensive planning. It’s not something you can start right in the senior year. You have to compile the plan at the start of your freshman year. This way, you will be able to schedule and complete every single requirement of standardizing admission. 

For instance, you have to choose between act vs sat.  Both of these tests are accepted by colleges. This prompts students to ask which one they should go with. The answer lies within differences between both these tests. So, you should research it before making your mind. 

Focus On Your Course and Grades

Grades do play an important part in the admission process. Good graces will improve your chances of getting into the college of your dreams. The high school transcript is important. So, you will need to take challenging courses throughout your school. Colleges are impressed with students who continue to pursue their field of interest by taking classes while remaining academically rigorous. 

Consider the Admission Requirement‘s

The earlier you take a look at admission requirements, the better. It will help you come up with a plan of action. You better get in touch with students who already got enrolled in the respective college. If you are able, contact the admission office and check their website. It will help you obtain relevant information. You may also need to visit the college; it will get you the information you need. 

Nail the Standardization Test

To get into a college, you have to pass the standardized admission tests. These are known as the SAT and ACT. Both these tests have common criteria to evaluate students. Students who nail these tests have a better chance of getting into the college they way. There is a lot of preparatory material available online and in textbooks. 

Extra Activities

If you want to get into your dream college, so you better pick an extra co-curricular activity. Pick something you are passionate about. Colleges do look for students who are interested in a particular activity and show growth as well as leadership qualities in the specific activity. Colleges also pay importance to the community and even participation.

Finding Ways to Get Your Grades Back Up to Speed

As a student, it is not always easy to maintain good grades, and your grades can start to slide for various reasons. This could be through missing classes due to ill health, family issues, or simply because you do not understand the topic. When this happens, it is important to take action and bring your grades back up to speed, but how can you do this?

Well, the good news is that there are lots of possible solutions you can try if you want to get your grades back up to speed. Different methods work well for different people but trying a combination of solutions can prove to be very effective. In this article, we will look at some of the ways in which you can start building your grades back up.

Some Possible Solutions to Consider

So, what can you do to try and bring those grades back up again? Well, one of the things you can do if you have missed classes or fallen behind is to get online. You will be able to access information and documents relating to your course via platforms such as Course Hero and you can even learn how to unblur Course Hero if you are not able to view the documents you need. This can provide a valuable means to accessing documents and data that you need in order to improve your grades.

Another thing you can do is to start being far more organized with your studies, as this can have a big impact on your grades. Some people tend to study on an ad-hoc basis, which does nothing to help if your grades are sliding. Instead, you should get online and download a study timetable template, which will then enable you to better organize your studies. You can allocate more time to studying the subjects you are really struggling with, and this can be a big help. However, you have to make sure you actually follow the study timetable once you have completed it. 

Also, take time to look at your lifestyle, as you will be amazed at what an effect this can have on your studies. If you tend to skip meals or eat junk a lot, you won’t be getting the right nutrients to allow you to focus when it comes to your studies. If you cannot focus, it become impossible to take in the information you need. Likewise, if you are out partying all the time and getting very little sleep, this will also have an impact on your studies. Try to change your lifestyle for the better by eating healthy meals and getting plenty of sleep.

These are just some of the steps you can take if you want to try and bring your grades back up and get back on track with your studies. You can use one or all of these methods in order to try and improve your grades, and you can then look forward to a more successful education.