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Counseling center sponsors ‘First Generation’

The VSU First Generation Student Support Group (FGSSG) is here once again for those students who range in age from 18 to 24, and are first in their families to attend college.

Sponsored by the VSU Counseling Center, the FGSSG was created for those students who come from a family with a background that lacks college attendance.

Sheila Wakeley, counselor, expressed her concerns for students who may have a fear of being the first college student in their family.

“They may not understand the language of college life or may not know what is expected of them,” she said. “We would like to facilitate an increased sense of support for our first generation students by bringing them together to share their concerns and their experiences while gaining helpful information.”

The other counselor, Gwendolyn Williams, has a personal connection to this support group as she is a first generation college student.

According to Williams, she overcame her anxiety to accomplish her goals.

 “I was very excited because attending college was something I prepared for while in high school,” she said. “However, being the first to do anything can be scary as well.”

Williams advises that students use all of their resources that are available to them such as academic advising, the student success center, etc.

Wakeley feels the benefits of joining are simple.

 “A first generation student support group will benefit students who attend by giving them a space and an opportunity to share common experiences, provide mutual support and gain helpful information,” she said.

There are hopes that this support group will be completely formed by Oct. 1

For more information on the first generation student support group, visit www.valdosta.edu/counseling.

In addition to this support group, there is a sexual assault survivors group that is in the process of being created.

For information concerning this group, please be sure to contact Dr. Leah McMillan, assistant director of the counseling center, at lcmcmill@valdosta.edu.

Students who would like to join should call the Counseling Center at 229-333-5940 or visit it located on the second floor of Powell Hall, East. Once they display interest, one of the facilitators with conduct a screening.

The meeting day and time are to be determined based on the schedules of the interested students.

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