Degrees: University of Cincinnati, B.S. in Criminal Justice/Organizational Leadership; University of Phoenix, M.S. in Administration in Criminal Justice
1. Why did you decide to attend college? I always felt that it was expected of me. Also, it was something that my parents nor grandparents did, so I wanted to…dedicate it to them.
2. What were some of the challenges you faced as a first-generation college student, and how did you overcome them?
I faced several challenges in school, from academic issues, to problems with financial aid, [and] problems with time management. I overcame them by just working hard and seeking help from advisors, tutors, or whoever was willing to help. Two of the biggest challenges that are not often spoken about are time management and accountability. In college, you don’t have an adult telling you what to do; and when you get accustomed to that type of freedom, it can cause you to be lazy. I had many sink or swim moments, but I was fortunate to make it out of school successfully.
3. What have been some of the payoffs for attending college?
Meeting my wife. Meeting lifelong friends. Obtaining degrees that will allow me to advance in my field.
4. If you could go back in time and change anything about your college career, what would it be
I would have not taken out as many loans. I also would have considered going to a community college to start off in order to save money. Also, I should have been more involved on campus.
5. If you could give any advice to current and/or future first-generation college students, what
would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Use the resources that are available to you. Try to get a paid internship every summer. Only take out loans when you absolutely NEED them. Research scholarship opportunities because there are so many out there.
Party hard, but study even harder.
I can’t help but notice the themes about time management and asking for help. College is a new to Gen1s and we tend to not know how to manage the two. But, like Ronnie suggests, once you learn how to handle time and ask for help, you can really turn things around for the good!