Tag Archives: first generation

Currently reading: “Ten simple rules for successfully supporting first-generation/low-income (FLI) students in STEM” by Peña et al. (2022)

As a very privileged continuing-generation student, I did occasionally notice how it helped when, during my studies, people in key positions at the university recognized my last name, or when I got very detailed instruction and support in writing letters to committes (actually, maybe I did not even write those letters myself, now that I am thinking about it…) that bent the rules for me, for example got me special permissions to take a minor subject at a different university where they had to set up a study plan just for me (which they did).

But what it actually means to not get support, in the same way that I did or at all, has sadly only recently really come on my radar, as one aspect of student diversity that we should embrace and support. For example, in data from Norway we saw last year that first-generation students have much higher levels of test anxiety than continuing generation students, and one idea for why that might be the case is that they just don’t know what to expect, and and hence how to prepare, because they had nobody who could tell them. Also I recently noticed how much more “phew, it’s more like guidlines anyway” I am towards academic rules than my first-generation colleague. Now I read the Peña et al. (2022) article on “Ten simple rules for successfully supporting first-generation/low-income (FLI) students in STEM”, and I am sharing my take-aways below.

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