Two students smiling for a picture at a First Generation College Celebration event

5 Success Tips for First-Generation College Students


We observe First-Generation College Celebration Day every Nov. 8. First-Gen (First-Generation) students (and all students) can learn five practical ways to gain support and overcome challenges. Find info for virtual and in-person First-Gen Celebration events at Miami University Regionals and E-Campus.

What’s So Important About First-Generation College Celebration Day?

Do you know about 43 percent of Miami Regionals E-Campus students are first-generation college students?

Miami students whose parent(s) or guardian(s) has (have) not completed a bachelor’s degree are known as “first-generation” college students. Miami University Regionals recognizes all first-generation college students, faculty, staff, and alumni in honor of National First-Generation College Celebration (NFGCC) Day. First-generation college students are an essential part of our community; we celebrate NFGCC annually on Nov. 8. 

Learn about virtual and in-person events to make the most of this special day. If you’re not a first-generation student, you will still find helpful tips for having a successful college experience, and you can encourage your peers.

1. Get Help from Your Advisors and Others 

Your advisors want you to be successful. They are a valuable resource to help you choose your schedule, answer questions about majors and minors, and help you achieve your goals. Schedule an appointment online, email, call, or visit in person. 

Step 1.
Log in to myMiami

Step 2. Search “Who is my academic advisor?”

Step 3. In the search results, you’ll see the following:

Step 4. Click the heart icon to add this to your Favorites.

Step 5. Click this box to find information about your assigned academic advisor.

Not sure who your advisor is or how to contact them? Follow these steps:

  1. Log in to myMiami
  2. Search “Who is my academic advisor?”
  3. You should see the “Academic Advising” graphic card/box.
  4. Click the heart icon to add this to your Favorites.
  5. Click this option to find information about your assigned academic advisor.  
  6. If you need help, please call Regionals Advising at 513-727-3440 or email

Pro tip: Smart people get the help they need.

If there’s something you don’t know, ask! Keep asking questions until you get referred to the right office or person and get an answer. Faculty and staff are here to help you, and they want to support you. Other students may also be a good resource. Being in college is all about learning–beyond what happens in the classroom.  

2. Don’t Let “Imposter Syndrome” Get You Down

According to, “Imposter Syndrome” may be characterized as “feeling like an intellectual fake… It’s marked by persistent self-doubt and, often, a fear of being exposed as a fraud…” In the context of college, you may sense that you’re pretending to be a college student and experiencing feelings of not belonging. This idea isn’t true–you belong here as much as anyone else. If you have difficulty believing in yourself or that you won’t succeed with Miami Regionals, please talk to a friend, your advisor, or a trusted faculty or staff member. 

Pro tip: Free mental health counseling is available to all students.

Contact Student Counseling Services, or call (513) 727-3431. They are an excellent resource and are here for you!

3.  Be Patient with Yourself

Growth and learning involve experiencing new adventures. Anything new and worth doing takes time to figure out. Whether you’re 18 or returning to your education after taking time away, THIS is the right time for you, so enjoy the journey. When you face challenges, get some help, figure it out, and move on. 

Some perspective to think about: If you’re dwelling on a mistake, will it matter in…

  • Five hours?
  • Five days?
  • Five months?
  • Five years?

Forgive yourself and keep moving forward. Future you will be glad you kept going. 

Two students creating origami crafts

Pro tip: Know what activities fill you up.

Take a few minutes each day to recharge and shift your mindset. Take a walk, chat with a friend, listen to a favorite playlist or podcast, create art, meditate/pray, play a game of hoops, etc.

4.  Run Your Race

You do you. Try not to compare your journey to others. The college experience throws us together in an environment for a certain amount of time. Still, within that environment, each person is there for their reasons to work toward their goals on their timeline. There is no single way to “do college.” Whatever is right for you at this time is what is best for you. Stay focused, relax, and make the most of your college experience!  

Pro tip: Add a motivational quote or goal to the lock screen of your smartphone.

It may help you quickly refocus if you get off track.  

5. Utilize Resources and Connections

There are resources all around you at Miami Regionals. Find them and use them–they are here to support you! Connect with other online students at virtual events or on Instagram and Facebook. Join a student organization. Explore our list of helpful links to academic, wellness, tech resources, and more for online and on-campus students, including:

Academic Advising or your Faculty AdvisorLibrarians and resources at campus libraries
Campus Kids Child CareRegionals’ Events (Virtual and In-Person)
Career ServicesStudent Disability Services
Counseling Services Tech Support Request
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)TRiO Support Services
E-Campus / Online supportTutoring and Learning Center 
List of Miami University Regionals’ student support offices and resources

Pro tip: Make a goal to make at least one new connection this week.

If you’re a 100-percent online student, nearly all of these resource links have a virtual option for you to connect with others.

How are Miami Regionals Observing National First-Generation College Celebration Day?

Participate in one or all of these events:

A mobile phone showing the virtual jam board


Contribute to the E-Campus First-Generation College Celebration jam board.

Please submit a tip or a note of encouragement to support fellow students. Here’s how it works:

  1. Fill out our brief form with your advice/encouraging note.
  2. E-Campus will add it to the jam board.
  3. View the jam board here to find advice for success.
3 students posing with a "number 1" decoration at a First Generation College Celebration event

IN-PERSON EVENTS, Nov. 8, 2023:

TRiO offices:

Enjoy cookies and punch between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Add a note about what you like best about being First Generation to TRiO’s celebration memory board.

Miami Hamilton – REN 104

Miami Middletown – JHN 008

First-Gen Picture Day

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Miami Hamilton – SCH 120

Miami Middletown – JHN Main Hallway

Center for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and Miami University Upward Bound Celebration

Free dinner and games, 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Miami Hamilton – REN 114

Additional Resources for First-Generation College Celebration Day

Miami University past and present First-Gen Celebrations

National First-Generation College Celebration Day website

Adapted from Boston University Today

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