4 Tips to Accomplish Your Goals as a First-Generation College Student

I was once a first-generation college student with a really big goal that was deemed impossible early on. I wanted to become a television producer in the number one market in the country, New York City. As a first-generation college student, I didn’t have anyone to formally walk me through different processes that was necessary to accomplish that goal. As a result, I had to get really proactive and learn how to take full responsibility of my growth and development. If you are a first-generation college student and have some goals that you want to accomplish, I have four tips that can help walk you through this process to get the most value out of your college experience. The first tip that I have is to set a specific goal. For the next 12 months, figure out a goal that you want to accomplish. It can be something as learning more information about a particular skill set, land an internship, or a part-time job. Whatever the goal is, write it down in a journal, your notebook, or your phone where you can readily see it as often as possible. The second step is to start executing. Once you have determined a goal, sit down and try to outline what are the steps that you need to do to accomplish that goal on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily basis if necessary.

What’s important here is that you really identify small steps to start executing. The third step is to start networking and do it as often as possible. I’m a really big coffee lover, and when I was in college, I had hundreds of coffee chats with all the resources that were available. I either looked them up or asked people for additional resources to learn more information and make valuable connections. I redefined networking as connecting, and the formal definition for this is an authentic attempt to learn or assist someone. Using this formula, you can authentically connect with others in formal and informal settings. Do it as often as possible. Lastly, prioritize hands-on experience in your chosen field of interest. This is so important. The earlier in your college career that you get hands-on experience, the better. This will provide you insights into your chosen field of interest and help you build connections. That way, in the future, when you graduate, you have a valuable framework or foundation to stand on in order to gain some valuable opportunities. The great thing about getting hands-on experience early on is that if something is no longer of interest to you, you have a chance to pivot and keep exploring.

Being the first at anything can be a scary and daunting experience. However, it’s an amazing opportunity. Take full advantage of it and go for it.