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When they enter into a college, first generation students have to struggle to adjust to the diverse culture. This is because these students belong to the working class families of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Since they have never seen or experienced college culture in their families, they are new to the environment, which makes them feel embarrassed and shy. They feel under-confident, and need a lot of support in dealing with their peers. Although they may feel pride in taking that big step, yet they feel confused. “First-generation students may feel ‘out of the loop’ when it comes to college processes and procedures such as application, graduation, job or graduate school searches, etc. They may not be aware of the resources available to them or of options available to them after graduation,” says the Counseling Center at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2007, par.10). Hence, these students need extra guidance and support so that they are able to meet these challenges.
Now, let’s discuss how these students can help themselves meet the challenges of the new environment. Schools in the United States are becoming more and more diverse because of the ethnically diverse nation. “The Census Bureau projects that by the year 2100, the U.S. minority population will become the majority with non-Hispanic whites making up only 40% of the U.S. population” (GreatSchools Inc, para.2). This awakens the need to make the children expert in interpersonal skills, so that they are able to cross the cultural barriers while interacting with other citizens of the country. First-generation students should talk to their friends and family to get the support that they need. They should know that they will encounter students from diverse cultural backgrounds in their journey of learning, so they should be open to every kind person they meet on-campus, and must be able to improve their learning and acceptance
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