Coming to college after high school can be scary, especially if you are a first generation student.
Who do you turn to? How do you talk to your professors? On Thursday Sept. 4, many students entered room 310 of the Student Center to attend the L.I.V.E mixer. The students got to sit down and have an informal, less structured chance to meet with faculty and staff while enjoying great food and smooth jazz.
“The Live Mixer provides a less structured and informal environment for students to connect with staff on a social level,” said Darquillius Mayweather the coordinator for the Center for Multicultural diversity. “Many students can find trying to talk to professors or staff intimidating, but the mixer gives students a side track to developing a relationship with faculty and instructors.”
Another important topic that was brought up was networking. What happens if a class is full and you absolutely need that class for your major? If you don’t already have some sort of rapport with that instructor, you might find you’ll have a harder time getting in.
April Calkovsky, a career coach at EMU, stressed the importance of networking to many of the students she talked of the importance of seeking out resources.
“Learn about all the resources and especially get to know those offering out resources,” Calkovsky said.
EMU student, Chad Kryzyminski, said that he attended the event to meet new people.
“I wanted to network with all who attended and build relationships with the professors who were here,” Kryzyminski said.
While anyone could attend the mixer, it was really set out to help those who are first generation students. Melissa Plaufcan, a psychologist at CAPS, has a strong interest with first generation students. Being a former first generation student she understands how scary coming into a college without much guidance.
Plaufcan hopes to start a support group for first generation college students so that she can make that transition for them a little easier and help them find the resources they need to be a successful student at EMU.
Plaufcan’s one piece of advice she reiterated through out the mixer was, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
First generation college students are those students whose parents may not have gotten a college degree. These students may not enter college with the same knowledge that other students may have. First generation students may have little to no knowledge of the traditions, terminology or expected behavior, which can often deter their success.
“L.I.V.E Welcome Week overall is to help in the process of helping first generation students in college,” said Darquillius Mayweather. “All students have struggles, but a first generation student may have a different struggle.”