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Apply to Become a Peer Mentor!
The You First Peer Mentor Program's mentor application is open! If you're interested in becoming a 2021 mentor, complete the application by February 8, 2021. For details on the program, take a look at the program overview. Email Dr. Bambacus at with any questions!

You First peer mentors are paired with new first-gen students to share their hard-earned knowledge about how college works. Don't feel like you need to know more to become a mentor--you're not expected to know everything! There's plenty of training to help you feel prepared, and support for when you're not sure what to do.
This Week's "You First Presents"
Getting and Staying Motivated to Finish the Semester
Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 4pm

Are you struggling with motivation to finish the semester and study for final exams? This presentation will discuss where motivation comes from and what it looks like, tips and ideas for staying motivated, ways to overcome burnout, and resources to use at VCU.  

 Register at


Navigating Family Dynamics and Finding Support
Thursday, Nov 19, at 1pm

Having conversations with family about life in college can be challenging as a first-generation student whether you are returning home for break or discussing the ups and downs of online learning from home. Join us as we discuss how to navigate some of these difficult conversations and get some pro tips for finding support. 

Register at

Study Sessions
There's a new link for the online study sessions! This one has a registration:

These study sessions are hosted by peer mentors, but there's no agenda other than the one you have for yourself. Use this as a way to meet and study with others and to schedule time to prepare for the end of the semester.

This week
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2:30-4:30pm, and Thursday, Nov. 19, 2:00-4:00pm
Location: Library
Perk: Pick up Chipotle from our office when you leave!
Registration required/limited to 10 people; sign up and choose your meal at

Next week
Monday, Nov. 23, 5:30-6:30pm
Location: Online
Tips and Tricks - The Pomodoro Technique
As you study for final tests and exams, consider using the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro method is a timer. Set a timer for 25 minutes, and then take a short break up to 5 minutes. Do this four times and then take a longer break. As one of the mentors says, 25 minutes is long enough to make progress and short enough to feel a sense of urgency that helps with focus. Plus, the break is long enough for you to feel refreshed but short enough for you to want to jump back in. Here's a LifeHacks article if you're interested in reading more about it. And type "Pomodoro" into your apps store to find one you like best. Some apps will even quiet your phone's alerts during the time you want to stay focused.
Thank You for a Successful National First-Gen Week!
National First-Gen College Celebration Week might be over, but we're celebrating you all the time. If you missed one of the swag pick-up events, courtesy of the You First at VCU student org, email us to schedule a time to swing by our office to pick yours up:
Winter Sessions Registration is Open
Intersession and J-Term classes are open for registration! If you'd like to earn three credits during winter break to get ahead, catch up, or lighten your spring load, consider taking an Intersession or J-Term course this winter. 

This year, VCU is offering more than 70 online courses that begin on December 28th. Intersession classes run for two weeks, and J-Term classes run for three. Check out for more information!

Pro Tip: You can find these classes listed with spring class schedule in eServices. Their section numbers begin with a V (Intersession) or J (J-Term).
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