You’ll notice my examples of the challenges as a first-generation college student in this series of blog posts, did not include intellectual type barriers. When I work with new clients I share this piece of advice about getting through classes, college is 10% intelligence and 90% persistence. You were accepted into your program of study, so you meet the academic criteria. Prior to moving over to STRIPES-VUB, I spent 8 years as faculty. In that entire time, I never had a student fail my class due to lack of intellectual ability. It always came down to preparation and the ability to adapt when life happened. Brushing up on your grammar and math skills is just one part of returning to the classroom. We focus so much on test scores and entrance standards, that we often overlook creating plan to build the critical resiliency skills, changes, and student supports needed to persist. New students often underestimate the amount of time needed to complete assignments, the self discipline to study outside of the classroom, fail to locate student academic support programs at the start of the semester, or make the life adjustments needed to meet their new student responsibilities. These are the things that sink students without a plan the most.