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A First-Generation Student’s Reality

Ah, you’ve made it to college: the first of many. Your family will tell you how incredibly proud they are of you and how successful you are going to be. While this is true, not all of us first-generation student’s have it all together as much as our families want to think we do.

With carrying this identity as a first-generation student, we are also carrying more than enough pressure on our shoulders and more than we can bear at times. Half of our families think we’re Einstein and think we’ll be doctors or CEOs of a company. The other half of our families have no idea what our major even is.

The truth? We have no idea what we are going to be and we’re still figuring out our place and that’s OKAY. You probably did your FASFA by yourself, applied to colleges on your own and now you’re navigating your way through this journey on your own as well.

We were placed on this pedestal that we did not ask to be on and we’re having trouble balancing on it. A lot of times we come to these prestigious institutes and view student’s with very different backgrounds from our own. In seeing the privileges others had within their education experience or lifestyle in general we tend to get angry and feel almost cheated.

If you’re sitting in a classroom and thinking you aren’t as intelligent as some of the other students or that your English isn’t good enough or that you simply are unworthy of being here. It’s time to remind yourself that you are worthy. You deserve to be here and you are more capable than you think. It’s okay to not have it all together yet.

Remember everyone’s journey is different and the end goal is yours to make. You’ve done so much on your own already, it’s okay to take a lending hand. As a first-generation student, there is already an opportunist that is inside of you and it’s time to let them out and explore all that college has to offer even it is scary. Even if you think you’re not ready, you are.

Many times I believe first-generation student’s deny themselves assistance from others or disclose how they’re really doing when others ask them because we don’t want to seem weak or feel any sense of failure. Do not crumble under the pressure and do not minimize your worth. You are able. You are strong. Tu eres capaz. Tu eres fuerte.

Hey all ! My name is Nadia Selena Estrada. I reside from the southside of Chicago and identify myself as a Chicana. I am currently a first-year student at DePauw University with an intended major in Psychology. I have a fine appreciation for all types of music, literature, and shades of orange (:
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