By Amanda Famigletti
College is a scary phase in life. It consists of parents cosigning on loans you’ll be paying until you’re 35. Maybe stepping away from your hometown to a big city at 18. And everyone’s favorite part of the transition, a non-virtual game of Tetris to figure out how to fit every last article of clothing, piece of furniture and miscellaneous items to squeeze into a 10 x 10 home for the next year. It’s the biggest academic endeavor you have yet to face, and it’s far from easy.
However, there is a certain population of students in particular that I’d like to shout out to. It’s the first-generation students.
The term can be simply defined as an undergraduate whose parents did not attend university. Research suggests that first-generation college students differ in the sense of their counterparts such that they are typically not as active in extracurricular activities, and can even be less academically prepared. This ties to less satisfaction in college, and without academic or social support, could potentially drop out of college. However, the amount of first-generation college students enrolled in college is rapidly increasing, and this is something we should be proud of.
I am saying this because I too am a first-generation college student, and it makes me so incredibly proud to be one because it shows that there is hope despite one’s circumstances. I encourage everyone who is in the same shoes as me to find the courage to seek out help from professors. Your academic success is most important to them and they are always there to help.
Try and create a social circle as well. Keep up with information about new clubs that may interest you, join a study group, anything that you feel may help. These are key components to your academic success.
I would never say it is easy, but it is worth it. Take a step back and look at where
you are right now. You’re probably studying for your upcoming midterm, chugging coffee late at night to write your term paper or watching Netflix for some down time. Regardless, you are on the path to where you need to be and will get there soon. So, take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back and be proud to be a first-generation college student.
For additional information, here is a blog post from Psychology Today called “What We
About the writer: Amanda Famigletti is a senior at the College of Saint Rose, currently studying Psychology.
[The students in ENG 252 are writing blog posts highlighting campus and community events and opportunities.]