Entering College? Latino Professors Share Some Great Advice for 2016

Photo credit: www.unr.edu
Photo credit: www.unr.edu

 
Another school year begins and Latinos across the country are entering college in record numbers. Your first days in college will certainly produce anxiety, excitement, and lots of questions. Below are some thoughts and practical advice for freshman students from Latino/as who have “been there, done that” when it comes to education.
Own Your Voice
First of all, accept the fact that you will never fully feel like you are on top of things or have what it takes. All this means is that you’re a human being and the sooner you get over the impossibility of perfection the better you’ll perform.  Unfortunately, students of color are often doubly burdened by unrealistic fears and insecurities so don’t let these normal feelings of inadequacy stop you! Dare to speak out and stretch your comfort level.

Trust me: everyone is just as scared as you, and many of us professors of color also struggle with these feelings in different contexts at the university. The difference is that some of us dare to own our voices and refuse to be stopped by these feelings. Be one of these people.

Ensure your professors know you. Go to their office hours, ask questions, visit with them. Start your papers and assignments early and remember that the key to good writing is rewriting so be prepared to rewrite your paper as many times as necessary. Avoid incompletes like the plague. Use your writing center or any writing program offered by your institution. Everyone needs help with writing.
Finally, learn about the many opportunities to learn outside the classroom and find a social activity, club or interest group that will keep you grounded and balanced.
Arlene Davila is Professor of Anthropology, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.
Learn to Set the Bar High for Yourself!
I have been teaching freshmen for close to 17 years, and the majority of my students are Chicano/Latino, with many of them first generation college students. I spend the first weeks of my classes challenging my students to set the bar high for themselves, which means they have a rigorous weekly reading and writing load. I want my students to learn from the beginning that College is WORK and that they are building a new skill set as college students. Professors do not want to hear you complain and whine about the workload, something that high school students often do and get away with…..
To read full story: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/entering-college-latino-professors-share-some-great-advice-2016-n630011?cid=sm_fb

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