For Students, Our Work for Students

Reflecting On My First Year Of College

College can be very intimidating especially for a first-generation college student. One of the first obstacles I encountered was orientation and registering for classes. I attended the second to last orientation, but to my surprise, I was still able to pick all the classes I wanted with no problems. I was prepared for the class selection process from being a dual enrollment student at Florida Southwestern prior to going to Florida International University. I was grateful for the time management and organizational skills that Champions for Learning helped me build to create the perfect schedule for me.

The next obstacle was housing. Champions for Learning made sure everyone was on top of their deadlines and requirements, so I was online selecting my room the moment it opened. I selected a room located on the second floor which meant the elevator ride would be quick and I could take the stairs if I did not want to wait. My room was also the closest to the communal kitchen and it was the best room on the whole floor besides the Residents Assistants.

Another challenge I faced during my first year was making friends, it was very difficult to get out and meet new people. It is challenging to find like-minded people as well as create meaningful friendships during such a busy time in life. But as I progress in my studies, I’ll continue meeting more new people.

The last major obstacle I faced this year was finding out my financial aid account had an error that caused me to have an unexpected balance. When I had heard this, I had no idea what it meant or that it was even possible. I had carefully budgeted my four years of college so that I knew down to the penny what was being covered. Thankfully, I had Champions for Learning just a phone call away to help me figure out what was going on. After all that panic the school agreed there was an error which was corrected, and I did not have to pay an unexpected charge.

There will always be unexpected obstacles looking to slow you down, but I am grateful that I have Champions for Learning always there to help me overcome them. The program taught me how to grow as a student and as a professional. The skills I learned such as writing a professional email or how to find help on campus I use everyday and I will continue to use them throughout my career. I feel as though I am always one step ahead and I have been gifted with valuable knowledge that I can share with not only my peers but with incoming college students who did not have the same opportunities I had.