First-Generation Tackles First Semester

At the beginning of my fall semester I realized the major differences in the high school environment verses the college environment. In college I have more responsibilities; personal, academic and social. I’ve also faced (and is still facing) certain challenges as I transition into college. Even though these responsibilities have stayed the same I am beginning to focus more on my academic responsibilities. With finals quickly approaching I am determined to do well. At the beginning of the semester I was focused on balancing all my responsibilities and even though that I am still working on that, my academic responsibilities come first.

I see the culture of higher education as personally driven as well as having the ability to step out of your comfort zone. Walking around classes I often see students either walking alone or with one other person. When I first arrived on campus this was very shocking to me. It forces me to realize the importance of education at Saint Mary’s and how graduating from college and gaining knowledge is first and foremost. Now that my first semester of college is nearing an end I have a better understanding as to why many students are often by themselves. My alone time is very valuable and it helps me stay focused and tune-in on the important things.

Throughout my first semester I’ve received support and feedback from my peer mentor, my family and my friends. My mother has always been a big support in my life and, especially, my education. She has given me motivation to stay focused and keep an eye on my goals. I understand that because I didn’t have much knowledge about college and how it works because my parents didn’t attend college, other students have an advantage. Just because first generation college students don’t have prior knowledge does not mean that we will fail. I believe that we have more of an advantage because we can receive more detail and dig deeper to further our understanding of college and the challenges we face. Even though I don’t know as much as someone who isn’t a first generation college student I know that I will still do my best and succeed, even in the face of challenges. My first semester had been amazing and I look forward to the rest of my year!