First in the Fmaily: A Fist Generation College Student on College

2319 Words Jul 11th, 2018 10 Pages
First in the Family: A First Generation College Student on College

Across universities throughout the United States, the presence of first-generation college students is on the rise (Stephens 1). Students whose parents do not have a degree of higher education, are being given the opportunity to shape their future for the better as they embark on a journey to receiving a four year degree unlike their parents who were not given such an opportunity. With the number of first-generation college students on the rise from the past, I became interested in seeing how the views, relationships, and ideas of these students was unique, and how they differed from the average student attending a university; an average student coming from at least a
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When asked about her time so far at UM she stated, “I don’t like it here. I just don’t like school and I think the people here are too different then back home.” Further expressing a concern that she feels very isolated while at UM, a contribution to Sarah’s poor grades may derive from the fact that she was too preoccupied with adjusting to an environment that is so new to her that it is a shock. The oddity of Sarah’s comment though is that she has already built strong relationships with many people at the university, including her roommate. Sarah states her roommate is most influential in making her feel as if she is not alone as she is always there to talk to and comfort her. This scenario is not uncommon among many college students, but it is especially prevalent among first generation college students because of the strong ties to family that are often seen with these type of students.
Why else do the grades of this outwardly normal appearing girl suffer so much? A large reason comes from Sarah’s plain lack of motivation. Sarah clearly stated how she “hate[s] college” and when asked why, she stated that she does not like how hard it is and how much work is needed to learn the material. Sarah especially struggles in physics and calculus, and in a follow up question to the interview, Sarah revealed that her grades currently in calculus will not let her receive any

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