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Dear Upcoming First Generation Students,

Posted on 6/20/2019 1:55:14 PM by Jah-Marley Fitzgerald

Hey, my name is Jah-Marley and I am a fellow first-generation student just like you. I am a rising junior and I am still here. I am totally aware of how intimidating it may be to be the first or even only person in your family to attend college. Need help or advice? I got you.


1. Visit Our Campus 

If you are considering Cabrini to be your home for the next four years, I would definitely recommend visiting and touring our campus. Tours are offered through Admissions and led by our Student Ambassadors Monday through Friday. There are also weekend open houses events throughout the year. 

2. Understand Financial Aid

Reach out to representatives in our Cavalier Express Center if you do not understand your financial aid package or how to file for loans. I remember coming into school thinking “What is FAFSA and how do I apply for loans?” During my tour of the campus, I met with Nicole Gordon, one of our financial advisors, and she explained everything that I needed to know and more.

3. Get Involved

Keep yourself busy. Network. Cabrini offers more than 50 different clubs and organizations to appeal to any of your interests. This can give you a chance to meet people who have common interests or goals in your academic career here at Cabrini. Making friends and socializing is important and joining a club just makes it easier.

4. Commuting?

If you’re thinking about commuting, really think about the travel. Is that train going to get you to class on time? Is an hour and a half drive to school really worth it each day? These are some questions you should be asking yourself if you’re considering it. If this has really made you think, try reconsidering living on campus. I guarantee you’ll have the same or an even better college experience by living on campus versus living off campus.

5. Use your resources

If you know that you are struggling academically, do not hesitate to seek help. Cabrini offers so many resources for students. Some of these include the Math Resource Center, the Writing Center, academic advising, and even peer tutoring. Utilize your resources as much as possible. You are paying for it.

6. Get out of your comfort zone

Maybe you’re a little more shy in class like me and you don’t want to raise your hand. Maybe you were offered a leadership position and you’re not sure if you should take it. Honestly, just do it. Life is short and college is short. Make the most out of it and live with no regrets!  

Oh! Here is a bonus!

If you are worried about not being able to afford your textbooks straight out of pocket, go to the Cavalier Express Center and see if you qualify for bookstore vouchers. They help out a ton!


I hope that this was helpful for my fellow first-generation classmates, but this advice does not just go for them. This applies to everyone! If you decide to look at my author page and see me around campus this fall, please introduce yourself! Ask me anything. I would be more than happy to help you out and share some of my advice and experiences.

Jah-Marley representing Cabrini and his High School's FBLA Alumni Panel

See you in the fall,

Jah-Marley Fitzgerald

Class of 2021