Today@Sam Article

First-Year Experience For First-Generation Student

June 28, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Editor’s note: Every summer, sophomores share some of their experiences and offer advice to SHSU’s newest cohort of freshman. In his “First-Year” letter to new Bearkats, Cory Lorenzo confronts the challenges of a first-generation college student and shares how the First-Year Experience program helped him stay on track. 

Cory Lorenzo

Cory Lorenzo2Dear Future Bearkats,

There are many things to take away from the First-Year Experience program at Sam Houston State University. We were taught how to properly study, make a schedule, get assignments in early, and form learning groups. What I took from this experience the most was the importance of the connections that I have made. One person cannot take on college all alone. You will need help from others to make sure you get the most out of your college experience. Everyone in the SHSU community is trying to help you both inside and outside the classroom in the pursuit of your degree. It all starts with the first year.

I am a first-generation college student, so I had no clue what to expect from college. All I knew were the struggles of getting to Sam Houston State and that I would need to get a job to stay in school. Within the first few months, I began to search for a job, taking every opportunity that was given to me. However, it seems that I was missing something, because I was not getting any replies from my applications. I turned to the First-Year Experience for help and with their assistance, I was able to find the perfect job. My major is computer science and I found myself at the service desk of IT@Sam.

Getting this job was a huge step to making advancements in my field of study and being able to stay here at Sam Houston State. However, I ran into another problem. The workload I had given myself made my schedule challenging. I held two jobs, one on campus and another off campus, as well as having fifteen hours of classes. Thankfully, I was prepared for a moment like this. Using what the First-Year Experience taught to me, I was able to form a very functional schedule within the first two weeks of starting a new job.  I was even able to fit in and actively participate with two study groups.  It was astounding to me how I was able to grow and mature in my first year. With these newfound skills, I cannot wait to take on what lies ahead. May our paths cross in your future studies.

Best of Luck!

Your fellow Bearkat,

Cory Lorenzo

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