For Week 9’s First Things First update, Leon and Gretta answer the questions: “What UCI resources have you been using?” and “What advice do you have for incoming students?” 

Leon discusses how she’s gotten help from services like LARC and TRIO Scholars tutoring. She also explains the system she uses for keeping track of assignments and deadlines. Leon’s faculty mentor Prof. Pavan Kadandale seconds her advice and encourages other students to follow Leon’s example by being proactive and independent about getting help.

Gretta also talks about how UCI resources like LARC tutoring and consultations from the Center for Excellence in Writing and Communication have been a huge help for her. She advises new students to seek out and use as many campus resources as possible. Prof. Anita Casavantes Bradford also offers advice to help new students stay on top of things in the fast-moving quarter system. She also reminds students to go easy on themselves during such a strange and stressful time.

Leon Masuda

For this week’s First Things First update, Leon shares some of the resources she’s been leveraging at UCI, including LARC tutoring, TRIO Scholars tutoring, and office hours for her professors and TAs. If UCI remains remote for next year, Leon advises incoming students to attend as many live lectures as possible and offers strategies for keeping track of assignments and due dates.

Prof. Kadandale Responds to Leon

Prof. Kadandale agrees with Leon’s advice for new students and applauds her proactive use of resources. He also emphasizes the importance of students being independent and seeking out the tools and services that will help them succeed.

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Gretta Ozuna

In Gretta’s Week 9 First Things First update, she talks about using UCI resources like LARC tutoring and writing consultations at the Center for Excellence in Writing and Communication. While learning online is difficult, Gretta says her best advice for incoming students is to learn about and leverage every resource available.

Prof. Casavantes Bradford Responds to Gretta

Building off of the advice Gretta had for incoming students, Prof. Casavantes Bradford offers her best tips for staying organized on UCI’s quarter system. She also reminds students to take breaks and be kind to themselves during this stressful time.

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The First Things First project is an evolution of UCI’s First-Generation Faculty Initiative, designed to help first-gen students overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic. This new “virtual” mentorship program pairs two incoming UCI first-gen students with first-gen faculty members for a year-long, social-media-distributed conversation about the transition to university life. The goal of First Things First is to help UCI’s entire first-gen population, as well as first-gen students throughout higher education, build a sense of community—even in this remote college environment. To further this project, we invite you to share this article on your social media channels and with your network.