Being a First Generation Student

Being a First Generation Student

FIRST

Without a doubt, being a first generation student can be challenging, scary, and intimidating. For me, my family was not able to help me much in terms of college advice, connections, and understanding the concept of “college life.” ¬†I had to be independent. I had to figure things out for myself. I had to learn from my mistakes.

I am the very first person in my family to attend college. I am the oldest out all the cousins and siblings. I did not know how to prepare for college- academically and mentally. Things like loans, FAFSA, and class registration were so foreign to me because no one fully explained about them. When I applied to colleges in high school, I completed applications by myself, paid the fees with my own money, and attended campus tours by myself. Although my family was very supportive, they did not know what exactly they needed to do; neither did I. Because it was my education and my future, everything naturally fell under my responsibility.

 

My freshman year was a little rough, understandably. Everything was so new. My family was not used to me coming home late and I was not used to having so much freedom. As a current sophomore, I can confidently say- things are getting better.

As a first generation student, I experienced many pressures. I was expected to succeed and show others that I could persevere and conquer higher education to become successful- something my family has never been able to do. In return, with that higher knowledge, I would help others (including family members pursing a college education).

I want all the prospective first generation students to know that everyone is different; everyone has a different story. Probably it is very different than mine; maybe you and your family have a different view/mindset on how you go about with college preparation.

Fortunately, Loyola has a special organization that provides first generation students with the help they need to get adjusted to college life. They have tons of info that will help reassure you and lessen your worries/concerns. Plus, you will be among many others who are first generation students too, so getting along may be easy because of similar backgrounds.

Here is a helpful link for first generation students:

http://www.luc.edu/ace/resources/firstgenerationcollegestudentresources/

 

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