Are you aware that at least forty percent of the United States is made up of first-generation students? (Earl, 1987.) Being given the label “first-generation,” by definition, means that a student is the first in his or her family to attend and finish college with a college degree. In Hicks 2006 study, he compared the educational barriers of first-generation students to those non-first-generation students. As a result, Hicks found out the first-generation students had different expectations of college, poor academic abilities, lack of social skills, low self-esteem, and more financial restrictions (Hicks, 2003; Thayer, 2000). There are many challenges that first-generation students face in pursuit of a college degree: academic challenges,
Being a first generation college student is a heavy load to carry due to the constant reminder of having to be a good role model for my siblings. Children of immigrants are often highly expected to excel in their academics and to be involved in extracurricular activities. His/her parent immigrated to the “Land of The Free” in order to receive a better life and to give their children a place to call home. They work from one to two jobs a week just so that we can dig through the pantry, and raid the refrigerator. We sometimes take our parents for granted unknowingly, and constantly fill our heads with a question that we all seem to ask. “How do I please my parents?”, “What do I have to do to make them happy?”. As students we should all be voicing “College!”. Yes, maybe our folks’s dreams have faded away, however that should be our motivation to aim higher; to achieve our American Dream. Throughout our years of education, our very own relatives and teachers have emphasized on the importance of receiving a higher education. I have come to realize that I should not be asking myself “How do I please my parents?”. Instead, “How do I please myself?”, “What will my lifetime goals be?”, “Will it leave my parents hard work in vain?”. Obtaining a higher education will not impact their lives, but will affect yours drastically. My American Dream has always been to become an immigration lawyer that deals with international relations or to become a professor teaching my true passion for
My parents Immigrated from Poland to the United States in search for better opportunity for the children that they planned to have. When my parents finally made the move, they started with nothing and no one to turn to; they did not even know how to speak English. All my parents knew for sure was that they were going to raise three children in America and do all they could possibly do to motivate and make them passionate for school. My parents have always wanted their children to achieve the careers of their dreams and be able to support their own family as well as be happy with their lives. My parents have struggled with money their entire lives, which is another reason why they did all they could to get to America and motivate their children for schooling. They did not want their children to struggle with money the way that they did. But this led another issue, affording college. My parents did not have enough money for their children to attend college. Because of this, I have done my best in school to earn outstanding grades and do my best to earn scholarships.
There is abundant research on how second-generation college students have an advantage on first-generation college students. For one, according to (Garcia, V. (2015), a second-generation student is more informed about entry exams that include placement tests, ACT, and SAT. Simultaneously, these individuals may be unaware of the preparation required to earn a passing score on such exams.
Serving others by utilizing the lessons I have learned through my experiences and my talents is how I want to live my life. As a first generation college student, I want to integrate myself in programs or start my own mentorship program where I am able to mentor and give back to students who are first generation college students as well. I feel it’s important to reach out to first generation college students because the amount of pressure we receive with little to no guidance can be discouraging and lead us to feel alone in this process.
A first-generation college student is the first person in a family to attend college or any type of secondary education. This title “first-generation college student” has created a stigma for so many students making their time in college more difficult than someone who has come from a family of college graduates. First-generation college students often find themselves lost and without the edge of students who come from parents and/or siblings who went to college.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
Being that I am a first-generation college student, finding guidance as I matriculate through college has been tough. I do not have any family members that have went to college, therefore I solely depend on my university for guidance in my college endeavors and my career path. Due to this, I want to be a part of the TRiO Scholars Program so that I can gain valuable advice, counseling services, and guidance to graduation. The experience that I am seeking in this program is the ability to meet and connect with other students like myself. I believe that to be able to identify with students who have come from various hardships like myself, allows for personal growth and a sense of community. I hope to gain this sense of community by participating
I am a first generation college student that has made it to a higher education. I see myself as the second daughter, that has come out the land of pride and production. I am from Richmond, California, but that’s just where I geographically from, when in reality I came from a strong family of immigrants. My parents both came to the United States as a young 26, and 24-year-old parents of one child. I did not come until two years later that I came, I came into the world, and was already marked with the name of an anchor baby. As I grow up I did not really know what I was, what I did was always question myself, am I just a reason to keep my parents here longer? Why am I called an anchor baby? I felt that I did not fit in but my schools I went to school always had a mixture of students. I did not know what I was or who I was, I had not direct connection to any ethnicity. When I was in elementary school there where a mixture of Whites, Asians, Latinos, and African Americans ethnicities, grow up in a multicultural area I didn’t think about race or class as much as late in life. Race was a topic that I did not really think and talked about until I was placed into a private school that class was visible, and I began to be more aware or class and race. I would not talk about race or class at school, but I would wait to talk about it when I would get home.
Education is very important to my parents and it is not just a means of obtaining a good job in the future, but it serves as a way to get respect and social standing in a world that is so heavily focused on societal and class statuses. Being the first generation to have gone onto higher education, the pressures, put on by my family, can sometimes be overwhelming. In fact, at times I think my parents are more excited and ready for me to graduate than I am, which can be quite comical.
Coming from a smaller town where a lot of families do not have the money to send themselves or even their children to college was tough, I was always worried about what was going to happen after high school was over. Applying for financial aid and signing up for classes without having a family member who has done it before is very difficult, the student don’t know what classes to take or how much money to take out for loans, as a first generation college student myself it has been hard to do all the paperwork for college. A first generation college student can be very stressed like all college students but for first generation students they have no one that has gone through the same thing and that could help them get through it. Financial issues are going to be stressful for every college student, but for first generation students it can get extremely difficult seen as they do not know that much about applying for financial aid. Some students can get scholarships that help to pay for their college, though they do not know how to apply for those scholarships sometimes.Students who are first generation do not get the advice of their parents on college, just like how they do not know how to sign up for financial aid and other resources that are useful.
My parents always wanted to give their children the life they never had. I am Mexican-American, both of my parents immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. before I was born. I have numerous relatives, including my older sister, who do not have the same opportunities I have to achieve success because they are undocumented. For them, college was only a dream that could never be attained. Being the first U.S. citizen out of my entire family affected the way I thought about life. It was expected that I would attend college because I was the only one who had access to all the resources granted to American citizens. Although, I agreed with my family, the pressure to succeed and be a role model to my younger siblings was overwhelming.
Being born of 2 immigrant parents, who work menial jobs and have no education has always had its weight on me. Neither one of my parents are high school graduates and no one in my family has obtained a collegiate education. I have been able to experience first hand how difficult a life with no education is. I recall other students sharing how their parents provided aid with their homework and read to them, knowing I did not get to experience that made me gloomy. I had no other choice but to learn everything on my own and then attempt to teach my parents. This peculiar lifestyle has pushed me harder in academics and has given me a genuine appreciation for the value of an education.
First generation college students are those who are seeking to be the first in their family to earn a degree, according to UCLA. First- generation students can come from low, middle, or high income families without a history of going to college. Families of first generation students can either be supportive of the students plan for a high education or make them feel family pressure to enter the workforce right after high school like they did. First generation students often do not know their options regarding higher education and have fears about going to college and it’s cost. Currently, 42% of UC undergraduates are first generation.
Study conducted by Hicks (2006), compared educational barriers of first-generation to non-first-generation students; first-generation students had dissimilar expectations of college, poorer academic abilities, lack of social preparation, lack of self-esteem, and more financial constraints (Hicks, 2003; Thayer, 2000).