The Life and Times of a First Gen Student

Dear lovely people of Salem State,

I am here to discuss my life as a First Generation Student, and address that there are many other just like me attending Salem State. What exactly is a First Gen Student, you ask?  We are a specific breed of college kids, that are the first members our families to go school. So, to break it down, I am the first person in my immediate family that attends college. My mom is a hair dresser and went to hairdressing school, and my father is a “jack of all trades” for  jobs that don’t require a college degree. For years, our family plan was to send me off to college, earn that degree, and make that money, and that is what I intend to do.

Being a First Gen definitely has its ups and downs. Some ups are; the involvement in specific campus activities. There may be some First Gen get-together’s in the near future that will be exclusively for us!! Second, we are the first in our family to experience the wonders of college life. Younger siblings will work to be us, because we’re obviously the coolest child, and elders will respect us, seeing how hard working and driven we are towards achieving our goals. Some downs could consist of negativity and people rooting against us, hoping we don’t succeed. Unfortunately, we’ll find that in every aspect of life, but we are strong and LOVE proving people wrong. Another downside; we’re the first in our families to attend college. I know this is a repeat, but its a very valid negative side. Our families don’t exactly know how to handle us; our new found freedom, our grades, or our expenses. They may not know how to react when we call home crying because we failed a test, or when we say college is really hard. What makes this so difficult, is that they haven’t lived through it, so its hard for them to sympathize with us. But that’s okay. We will persevere!

Overall, we are pretty cool kids. The message I’m trying to send here is; there are more of us than you think. We are set on the path of greatness, and we will achieve anything and everything we put our mind to. Own who you are and embrace both the negative and positive attributes. We got this!

Love forever,

First Gen Lindsey

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