An Open-Letter To First Generation College Students

Whether you’re in the process of navigating your undergraduate career or gearing up to enter it, I would like to take some time out to address your accomplishments and offer a few words of encouragement.

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I am unbelievably proud of you already. You’ve made it thus far, and that’s very important to remember. You’re in, and you belong, and that can’t be taken away from you. The most memorable years of your life lies ahead of you, now all that’s left to do is to go forth and be phenomenal. 

Because you are a first-generation student living in Trump’s America, I implore you to be more conscious. Watch and read the news, educate yourselves. Get in tune with things that affect you, and things that affect your classmates. Pay close attention to the world you’ll be inheriting one day and take good care of each other.

I know that being the first of your family to pursue higher education is a bit scary.

It’ll be a little bit harder for you. It’s a lot of pressure, and at times you may feel like you lack support. If you don’t have a major selected, or at least a few vision boards on standby regarding potential majors, then I can foresee your parents instilling a lot of their fears and worries on you in the form of concerns, but I want to let you know that you’re not wasting their money for not knowing. The trajectory of your life is way too precious to be rushed or pressured with haste. I want to tell you that while as well intentioned your parents may be. Your parents unfortunately did not attend college, this modern world is also not geared towards them. It’s geared towards you. They do not know your struggles and therefore cannot begin to understand them without a little help. A way to eradicate this is to be include them in your ordeals. Talk to them, maybe even let them live vicariously through you. It is the least that can be done. You’ll be grateful for their support in the long run.

Remember: You will graduate, you will find a job suitable for you, and you will obtain your end goal.

and when you do, there will be a plethora of supporters cheering you on.
There I will be also.

Yours truly,
Jonathan J. Hayles



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