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Freshman Innovation Group Blog: Food & friends

Follow along with this new FIG blog this semester to learn what life looks like for our amazing first generation College of Liberal Arts students!

The College of Liberal Arts welcomes and celebrates first-generation students—the pioneers who are the first in their family to earn an undergraduate degree at a university.  Almost 30% of all liberal arts majors are first generation. The Freshman Innovation Group (FIG) is a college-specific program that provides incoming, first-generation freshmen a learning community involving a small network of faculty, advisors, and administrators in partnership with students.

This new FIG blog gives an inside glimpse of what the college experience is actually like for first generation students. Follow along this semester to learn what life looks like for our amazing first generation College of Liberal Arts students!


Olivia Peralez 

It’s time to eat!

Being in charge of your own eating habits is one of the most exciting things about moving away from home for the first time. Suddenly all the things your mom would never buy for you as a kid are definitely an option, and no one is bugging you to eat your vegetables because they’re eating cereal for the third meal today, too.

That said, there comes a point when the novelty of eating whatever you want wears off, and you just want a home cooked meal from your mom, grandma, or tia (aunt). This is a real struggle my friends! This is my first year living off-campus without a meal plan, so I’m forced to go out and buy groceries. I was excited to save that money and not have to eat dining hall food, but I’m now realizing how much I depended on that food. Even when I had the smallest plan available, I had at least one solid meal a day that I didn’t have to think about or prepare myself.

It’s all okay though because Pinterest is here and is always prepared with easy and affordable recipes for eating well. Now that I cook for myself and my roommates, I love trying new recipes and having fun at the same time (I love to listen to music and cook).  If you’re like me and trying to learn to eat healthy, I suggest eating your fruits and vegetables everyday, and keep the carbs to a minimum. 

If you’re on campus and looking for a bite to eat, I advise you go to Revs in the MSC! Revs has the best burgers and salads (the caesar salad is the best!), and their fries with Cajun seasoning will keep you going back for more. Another one of my favorite spots to eat is the Grill in the Financial Aid Pavilion building. They have all kinds of sandwiches and burgers. The great thing about Revs and the Grill is that if you don’t like to eat red meat, you can always get a chicken burger or sandwich. Texas A&M has some of the best food franchises on campus, so make sure to check them out and grab a bite.


Daniela Guzman

Time management

Time management is hard, but it has taught me maturity and responsibility. Over the course of my first year in college, I learned to juggle time with my education, my social life, and work — and it kept me busy 24/7. 

My priority is, and has always been, school. Whenever I had homework or a big test coming up, I would put a hold on the world and focus on my studies. I would cram myself in my room with snacks and sit in a chair for hours until I felt like I was finished with everything that I had to do. Prioritizing school is key because higher education doesn’t come for free, and once the four years are over, your degree is the one of the only things that will be important on your resume.

My social life grew dramatically when I got to college. There has been networking opportunities from left to right, and staying in touch with everyone has helped me seek career related opportunities! Don’t seclude yourself by having the “I didn’t come here to make friends, I came here to learn” mindset. Be open to the social life and make friends! Make memories and have fun.

I was truly lucky to obtain a work study opportunity as an elementary school tutor, because it has completely changed my life. Working there has shown me that I have a passion for helping the youth, and I am always excited to go to work to see my kids! If you are in college and in need of financial help, I suggest finding a job that is related to your major instead of working at a fast food restaurant or retail.


Read more of the FIG Blog posts here