We asked current first-generation students at Cornell what they would like parents and family members to know about their experience.  Many of the responses were similar; the most common ones are paraphrased below:

  1. College is more difficult than high school.  It can be much harder to earn an “A,” even when we are committed to our studies.  The Block Plan also means that we have to devote a lot more time each day to class work, home work, and studying.  It can feel very busy, especially during the last week of each Block.

  1. College isn’t just a place to get a degree.  The choice of a major is important, but it’s not everything.  Many jobs value communication skills and adaptability, so as long as we’re following something we’re truly passionate about, we will be prepared to find (or create) a job in the future.

  1. We enjoy being asked about what we’re learning.  It’s a chance for us to share our experience here on a deeper level.  Also, just because we might sound frustrated or upset at times, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we want to go home or that we second guess our decision to attend college.  Sometimes, we just need someone to listen to the issues we’re facing.

  1. We’re here to learn and grow as people. We'll be different when we return home, but we still love and value our families.