Students: we’re with you.
We recognize that this time may be exceptionally challenging for you and your off-campus support system. In the hopes of being as helpful to you as possible while you continue to navigate the COVID-19 health pandemic, we want to share these resources with you:
- List of Basic Needs Security Resources by MA County
- For a county-by-county list of food, housing and financial security resources in Massachusetts.
- Official UMass Coronavirus Information
- For the most up-to-date information about the university during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Official UMass Student Resources
- For tech support for online learning
- Center for Counseling and Psychological Health
- For tips on maintaining mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Dean of Students Office
- For microgrant and other hardship funding help, food insecurity, housing insecurity and supply closets
- Financial Aid Services
- For help figuring out your current and future financial aid situation
- Residential Student Services
- If you need to stay on-campus or have concerns about leaving campus
If you are struggling to find the right resource or don’t know where to turn, you can always reach out to Student Success via our website or at email@example.com
At UMass Amherst we are dedicated to creating an environment where you, as a first generation college student, can be and feel empowered to get the most out of your undergraduate experience. We have developed a comprehensive array of supports designed to meet unique challenges often faced students by students who are the first in the family earning a Bachelor’s degree.
On your UMass journey, these resources will help you to find community, connect with new friends, get ahead with your academics, stay on top of your schedule, and learn how to make the most of your time. While these resources are offered to all undergraduates, we encourage first-generation students to pay particularly close attention to this section. So much of success in college comes from knowing which tools and information you can use for your benefit.
Transitioning to UMass
UMass Amherst is a huge campus with many resources and opportunities to connect. As you transition from high school to college, if you are in your first year, start with your immediate community. Connect with the Peer Mentor and RA in your hall, get to know the Residence Director who lives in your building, meet regularly with your Academic Advisor, schedule time to check in with your instructors during office hours, and consider joining a Registered Student Organization . Even if you don’t need help, building a network with community members is a great way to learn about what’s going on around you and help you decide what direction is best for you.
If you do need help, start by reaching out to Student Success. We can connect you to the right resources on campus for the academic, personal and professional support you might need.The transition to college can feel complicated when you’re the first person in your family to go. We are here to support you!
While getting good grades is a huge component of academic success, reaching your academic potential goes beyond the classroom. Building holistic academic success can include finding internships, getting connected to research opportunities, mentorship with faculty, learning a lot about a particular field, and gaining broad academic skills. UMass Amherst is nationally classified as a Research One University, which means that you are being taught by some of the top scholars in their fields of study. You also have access to graduate Teaching Assistants and Academic Advisors. Take advantage of instructor and TA office hours, visit Career Development and the Learning Resource Center, and let us know if you want assistance with making these important connections.
Coming to college is often a chance for students to start learning more about their personal finances. For many students, having a conversation about finances can seem intimidating and personal. Fortunately, UMass is dedicated to the multiple facets of student success, which includes helping students improve their financial well-being through financial literacy. As part of Undergraduate Student Success, Smart About Money (SAM) is a peer-to-peer financial education group dedicated to teaching students about personal finances. This group of undergraduate students holds office hours, delivers campus presentations, and speaks to groups and organizations about topics ranging from understanding student loans to how to select a bank and build credit. SAM makes it easier to talk about finances and they are dedicated to helping you improve your financial wellbeing while at UMass and beyond.
Questions & Answers
What advice would you give to a student about how to succeed at UMass?
- Set realistic goals for yourself and create a plan of action on how to achieve them.
- Make good connections. UMass offers so many resources. (Writing Center, SI Sessions, Learning Resource Center, etc.)
- Do not be scared of ask for help.
- Use professor and TA office hours.
- Spend time with people who genuinely want to see you succeed.
What are some effective ways to find your community at UMass?
- Residence Halls: Be a part of House Council and attend the events, spend time in public spaces.
- Registered Student Organizations: Activities Fairs are held every semester and you can also contact each organization through the RSO page on the UMass website.
- Classes: Make some connections with your classmates, this will help you academically but it also provides a common ground to talk about.
- Step outside of your comfort zone and talk to as many people as you can!
- Reach out to your community staff members like your RA and PM to learn more about what opportunities are available on campus that might be of interest to you.
What tips would you offer about time management and staying organized?
- Every student has different methods of time management and organization that will work for them. Understand what tricks work best for you by trying a few out!
- Students should use their Student Success Planner and personal planners to help them stay on track. It helps to organize your academic life as well as your personal life.
- In general, try different methods and see what sticks: agendas, calendars, sticky notes, online calendars, and online to-do lists (or apps).
- A method to keep track of academic deadlines and other responsibilities is useful for knowing what your schedule is going to look like ahead of time and allows you to plan accordingly.
- I suggest CCPH if someone is suffering from stress and feel overwhelmed.
How do you think students can get better connected with their professors?
- It can be scary in large classes to connect with a professor but I strongly recommend introducing yourself to each of your professors after your first class with them.
- Make sure you attend your classes.
- Always say thank you, hi, have a nice day to the professors when you see them.
- Students should email professors and talk to them in person after class. They should also take advantage of office hours.
- Visit your professors and TAs during their office hours! You can use this time to ask questions, get more information, or just get to know them better.
What are some of the most fun and interesting spots on campus?
- Durfee Conservatory
- The Observatory
- The Museum in Morrill
- W.E.B. DuBois Library
- Argo Tea
- Art Galleries in Herter and Hampden
- Student-run businesses (check out Bartlett and the All Campus Makerspace workshops.)
- Science and Engineering Library
- Roots Café
- The Rec Center