Smiling female student with backpack on campus

FAQs for First-Gen Warriors

Being a new college student is exciting and overwhelming. You are in a new environment with new teachers, new classmates and new challenges, but you are not alone and you are not without resources.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions from first-gen students. If you have other questions or want to know more about the on-campus resources, contact the Warrior Success Center at firstgenwarrior@winona.edu.

It is totally normal to question your major. In fact, almost 75% of new college freshmen change their major at least once. The process for switching your major is quite simple and you can access the Declaration/Change of Major form (PDF) online. Once you have completed the form, it needs to be turned into the Warrior Hub in Maxwell 222. 

It depends on the major you switch to and when in your college career you officially make the switch.

For instance, if you switch from an elementary education major to a special education major, it’s more likely that you will graduate in four years because the programs are similar. Changing majors between two entirely different fields, such as from a business major to a nursing major, may take more than four years to complete your degree.

Also, if you change your major as a freshman you are more likely to still graduate in four years than if you waited to change your major until your junior or senior year.

However, you don’t want to hop from major to major. Switching majors multiple times make it more likely that you will need more than four years to graduate.

If you are considering changing your major, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Warrior Success Center. An advisor can also run a degree audit (DARS) for various majors, so you can map out how long a particular major will take to complete.

If you aren’t ready to meet with an advisor and just want to explore on your own for a while, check out these resources on deciding your major.

Don’t worry, most new college students feel homesick—at least once during their first year. Residence Life has created a site with strategies to overcome homesickness that may help. You can talk to your RA, a faculty member or other students too, since most freshmen feel overwhelmed their first semester or even their first year. If it would help, you can also meet with an advisor in the Warrior Success Center, or talk to someone in Counseling Services.

A great strategy for overcoming homesickness is simply getting involved in a campus sport, club or activity.

Managing money can be a stressful part of being a college student and there is a lot of confusing language surrounding financial aid and college billing. There are financial resources online to help you develop a plan for paying for college and learn more about money management. WSU also offers Cash Course, a free and fun way to learn more about financial aid, budgeting, getting out of debt and more.

You can always schedule an appointment with a financial expert in the Warrior Hub too.

If you are interested in getting a job to help pay for college, check out Warrior Jobs. Warrior Jobs is managed by Career Services and provides job listings exclusively for WSU students — including on campus jobs.