First-gen college students acclimate to WKU for first day of classes

WKU back to school, first generation college students
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Transitioning from high school to college can be difficult, especially for first-generation college students.

In the spirit of back to school, Western Kentucky University faculty and staff set up ‘Topper Directions’ tents across campus to answer questions and help navigate students to their destination.

Preston Jenkins, a first-gen student, says, “You know you might think you’re the only one, but no. There’s many people out here that are in the same boat as you’re in, so just kind of go out and just ask people questions. Say you don’t know where a class is or you don’t know what’s going on, just ask people around you. They’ll be nice, you know, there’s a lot of nice people here on campus so just ask around and be social.”

Molly Parker Robinson is a member of WKU Spirit Masters, and is helping guide new students to any resources that they need. She says, “On their way to class, if they’re unsure where they’re going, a friendly face who can offer some help can make a big difference and set their day off to a good start.”

Jenkins is looking forward to new experiences that WKU will bring him in the future. He adds, “Of course I want to make my parents proud, but I also want to get kind of a different job. My parents, you know, might get a job out of high school and it’s more of a manual labor, like, just a normal...not too much of a specialized job. I’ve come to college. I’d like a specialized job, better pay, and a job I enjoy more than just a job that I can get with a high school diploma.”