First-Gen Family and Supporters

First-Generation Family & Supporters

The Outreach Center welcomes you to Seattle University's first-generation (first-gen) community! Throughout the year, we host a variety of events that foster community amongst the first-gen community and offer resources to support fellow first-gen students.

First-Gen Newsletter

Our first-gen newsletter provides updates throughout the academic year. Come back each quarter for new info!


Upcoming Events

    First-Gen Guidebook: Your Primary Info Source!

    During Fall Quarter, your student might grapple with:

    Life Transitions


    • Help your student find study habits that work for them. Encourage them to check out Learning Assistance Programs (LAP) for learning workshops, tutuoring services, and group study.

    Personal & Social

    • Encourage your student to:
      • Meet new people. Have them get to know their neighbors, classmates, or Resident Assistant
      • Attend events organized by the University or their Resident Assistant
      • Join a student organization or club by exploring options on ConnectSU and attending the involvement fair


    70% of first-year students experience homesickness. Moving away for college is a big transition, whether you've come from the other side of the world or half an hour down the road. If your student is suffering from homesickness, they're definitely not the only one. 

    If you notice your student is feeling homesick, we encourage some of the following steps:

    • Acknowledge your feelings. It's okay to let yourself be homesick a bit
    • Bring home comforts to your dorm/apartment
    • Keep in touch with home and loved ones (but not too much)
    • Stay off social media (constantly checking social media pages of your friends from home can do more harm than good)
    • Explore your new surrondings
    • Don't compare yourself to others
    • Ask for help (if you're feeling homesick, worrying about your studies, health, or finances will only make things worse, so take steps to sort any issues out or get support as soon as they arise)
    • Make new friends (This is one of the golden rules to combat homesickness, as loneliness can make things worse)

    The Seattle Freeze

    When students are in a new environment like college, it will be challenging and stressful at times. If students find it difficult to make new friends, they may be experiencing “The Seattle Freeze.”

    About two-thirds of Seattle University students are not from Washington State, and the distinct culture of the city may leave some in shock. This is common, and it is important for students to recognize that they are not alone. There are a variety of community spaces, clubs and resources that students can join and utilize to help them to find a home away from home.

    If students have a hard time adjusting, we encourage folks to take advantage of Seattle University resources such as:

    • Campus Ministry: you can meet with a campus minister just to talk.
    • CAPS: has support and therapy groups as well as individual appointments that may teach you ways to deal with your stress and adjustment.

    On-Campus Housing/Living with Roommates

    For incoming first-year students and returning second year students, living on campus is a requirement at SU. SU strives to build a community within the residence halls for students. 

    Many people at SU come from different backgrounds and have different experiences that can be shared amongst other people. It is very common for roommates to set boundaries and rules together in order to make the living experience a smooth transition. If your students encounters a roommate disagreement, encourage them to contact their Housing and Residential Life staff member.

    Tips on navigating roommate conflict:

    • Wait until both parties are calm enough to speak to the individual about the subject that is bothering you
    • Ask their roommate in advance if you can speak to them
    • Try to find a place that is neutral for both
    • Arrange a time where they will both have enough time to get all of your thoughts out
    • Be direct in speaking about what is bothering them. Gather thoughts before hand and allow the other person to respond. Often, roommates may not even realize they are bothering you
    • Work towards a solution or a compromise. Realize that they will not always get their way, but often times, a compromise can be found


    One of the benefits of going to college in the heart of a city is that it offers several different modes of transportation. For information about how to get around Seattle on public transportation, visit Public Safety.


    If your student is looking for an opportunity to build their writing skills and contribute a scholarly or creative piece about their experience as a first-generation college student, encourage them to learn more about IMPRINT publications


    Looking for some extra funding? Many scholarships that are awarded for the next year are due between August and December. Check out Student Persistence for more information on how to get started. 

    First to SOAR

    Learn how to get involved with First to SOAR here. The First to SOAR peer mentor program provides peer mentor to first-gen students at SU. A mentor will serve as a coach, advocate, and role model for their mentee, and mentors will have 1-3 mentees for an academic year. 


    Apply to Alpha Alpha Alpha (Tri-Alpha), an honor society for first-generation college students. Applications for the upcoming academic year will open in late fall. For a list of full qualifications and information, visit Tri-Alpha Honor Society.

    Year-Round Experiences

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