Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

Being a First Generation College Student Is Utterly Terrifying

I am the oldest in my family. Being the oldest child has plenty of struggles attached to it already, but the one I’ve been dealing with recently is being the first person in my family to go to college. My mother and father got married while they were still in high school, got jobs, then started a family. Even if they wanted to go to college, they never really had the time or funds to do so. All of this is why my family has really pushed me and made sure I had the opportunity to go to college, even though it’s challenging.

One thing that makes it exceptionally difficult to be a first generation college student is the lack of resources. Often, first-generation college students apply to only one college, and they do it without help, because their parents don’t know how to help. It’s also not easy for us to afford all those application fees to Universities. We also have problems finding a college that’s a good fit for us, since our parents are usually working it’s hard to take time to tours of different colleges.

Even though there are many successful first generation college students, like the incredible Michelle Obama herself, there is still a stigma associated with first generation students. Which means lots of first-generation students don’t reach out and get the help that they need. Their background is viewed as a deficit rather than a strength, so they continue to stay invisible. It’s hard, but sometimes we have to ask people for help. The guidance counselors at my school helped me fill out multiple applications and even my FAFSA.

Being a first generation college student is already scary in itself, and it doesn’t help that no one knows how to help us, but do not be afraid to ask for help. Email the college, ask your guidance counselors or a teacher you trust. Talk to some alumni of that college so they can help you too! Don’t let being a first generation college student freak you out, you can do this!

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