I was a 1GLI student from small town Illinois, and although I did really well in high school, I was not prepared for the big state school I was attending (GO HAWKEYES!). I struggled, and I didn’t know what I didn’t know—which was A LOT. The smartest thing I did was connect with the 1GLI support office called Special Support Services. Because of that office, I was connected to opportunities that I would not have known of otherwise, such as employment opportunities and finding my mentor. In hindsight, I regret that I did not use academic support services such as tutoring or learning consultations, which I know would have lightened the struggle I felt throughout. Please, take my lesson learned and don’t make the same mistake. I worked throughout college to help pay for it, and I didn’t always balance it well, but those work experiences in retail, telemarketing, and social work all added to my knowledge, skills and abilities I still use today. So don’t discount those jobs at the mall or in the service industry! As with anything, there needs to be balance, as much as you can, with school, work, personal health, family, and friends. My advice to all students is to ask for, and accept, help wherever needed. It is not a sign of weakness, rather the exact opposite.