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Student Success Center

First Things First

First Things First is a one-night, two-day retreat designed for first-generation college students to get a jump start on their college career with resource introductions, academic success planning, and intentional community building.

The Retreat

Beginning in 2021, First Things First is an optional retreat offered to first-generation college students who are beginning their education at the University of South Carolina*. 

This retreat offers between 30-40 first-time, first-year students space attend. This small size ensures that community building and connection are a focus of the experience.  

All attendees are required to stay on-campus overnight in a designated USC residence hall. Programming lasts from about 9am on day 1 until about 3pm on day 2. All meals are provided during these times. 

Check out the schedule from 2023 to get an idea of what you will do at First Things First! 


The Dates

Check back soon for the 2024 First Things First dates!

Typically this retreat is held in late July from Thursday to Friday or Friday to Saturday.


The Registration 

Registration for First Things First will open in May 2024. First-generation students who are eligible will receive more information via USC email! 

What do you mean by first-generation college student?

The University of South Carolina's definition of first-generation student is any individual whose parents or guardians did not complete a bachelors or four-year college degree. 

What if my siblings went to/go to college? 

You are a first-generation student even if your siblings graduated or currently attend any type of college or university.  

What if my parents have an associates degree? 

You are a first-generation student even if your parents have an associates or two-year college degree. 

What if my parents started their four-year degree? 

You are a first-generation student if your parent did not graduate with a four year degree or only completed some college by the time you start at USC.  



* Gamecock Gateway and Palmetto Pathway students are eligible, and encouraged, to register to attend First Things First alongside their classmates before they begin their first semester of college. 


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