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From the College of Natural Sciences

First Gens of the First Class

Dear Students,

Sometimes universities, including UT, assume students know certain things when they get here. But really, I mean, how many of you knew what a subsidized vs. unsubsidized loan was before you got here? Or what a semester credit hour was? Or a FIG? Or how about office hours?! Many of you have learned these things, or are in the process of learning, but it has me thinking a lot about a group of you who are navigating these questions in a unique way.

This week the entire university is honoring an amazing group of students who are among the first in their families to attend college. It is First-Generation Celebration Week. While these students are identified as first-gen students, you wouldn't be able to pick them out of a crowd because they're just like everyone else here: hard-working, creative, smart, and determined to make a difference in the world.

To the hundreds of first-generation students in CNS, I want to say that we believe in you and are here to be a resource for you.

  • First, know that the work you put in to getting into UT and the work you are putting in as a student now will serve you well on the way to graduation… and beyond!
  • Second, although you have every skill and tool you need to succeed, remember to check in with someone whenever you need help to troubleshoot. I keep offering my email address as a resource and I'm going to do it again: if you have a question that either you can't find an answer to or don't want to ask the question out loud, please email me. I will get you the answer and point you toward resources on campus where you can learn more if you want to.

By the way, the above holds true whether you are a first-gen student or not. No question is stupid, and please believe me when I say that I'm still learning new things here. College is hard enough without trying to figure out what all the acronyms mean.

Dr. Vanden Bout

Joke: There is a band called 1023MG. They don't have any gigs yet.

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Friday, 23 April 2021

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