Vanessa Woods

What specific challenges do you think first-generation college students face?

I think a common challenge is feeling like you belong--the whole thing seemed to me like everyone knew what to do and where to go and I was wandering around lost.

What was your major, did you change it?

I did change my major based on taking a Physiological Psychology class that I loved, I ended up in Neuroscience and I had no idea what that was when I was in high school.

What advice would you give the parents of first-generation college students?

Ask questions and realize your child probably feels pretty lost so any support that sends the message that they belong in college is helpful.

Vanessa Woods
Assistant Teaching Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences
UC Santa Barbara