I never really thought about the fact that I was a first generation college student. My mother put me through a private, Catholic school where most of us went to college after graduation. Because of my peers, it just felt natural to go to college. It wasn’t until I was finishing my master’s degree that it really occurred to me that I was the first in my family to go to college/university. It meant a lot for me personally to be able to show the strong women in my life (my mother and grandmother) that I could succeed beyond high school. Education was always important for them, and it made me proud to be able to do something that they could not do themselves because of life circumstances.
Looking back on it, I realize that there were some things that were not natural for me when I first started my post-secondary education. I had to navigate the FAFSA on my own, apply for school and choose where I wanted to go, navigate taking out loans, etc. While I was able to navigate all of this, it was not second nature for me, and I didn’t really have anyone in my family who understood it. I have to say that I had a lot of support including friends who helped me navigate through it while in school.
I finished! It was an exciting time for me working on my undergrad. It was very informative for me personally I learned a lot about myself. I would not trade it for anything. I would recommend that anyone who needs advice remember that there are barriers that arise in life, but you have to continue to persevere through them. You can do it too, and remember that there are others around you who care about you (even if you don’t know them yet) who are here to help you!
Read more inspiring stories from alumni, students, staff, and faculty on the FCC Stories page.
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