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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

Sometimes, when I see people make online posts or hang up flyers about first-generation college students, I don’t consider it. But recently, when I stop and think about it, I realize I am a first-generation college student.

Not only am I the first one in my family to go to college, but I am also the first female to get a higher education. 

Getting the chance to go to college is such a wonderful opportunity because few people can afford it. My mom, around my age, tried to get a degree. But, because her family not having enough money for it, she had to let that idea of getting a college education go and went straight into working a job.

The one thing that my mom has always wanted is for her children to have a better life than she did. So, I am grateful to my mom for helping pay for my college tuition. The only thing I worry about is being a good role model for people in my family.  

My mom only had my brother and me. Being an older sister does hold a lot of responsibility. So, with me being in college, I always want to be that person my brother can look up to. Not only that, but I also want to be that person my younger cousins, nieces and nephews can look at and be proud of knowing what I have been doing all this time.

I know ever since I got here, my mom loves telling everyone what I have done here at St. Bonaventure University. With her being so proud and showing me off to everyone she knows, I always have that drive to continuously make her feel like she made the right choice of sending me to college.  

One of the main things I love about being the first one to attend a college, let alone a university, is that I can experience everything for myself. From taking exams to living on campus, I am the only one who knows what that is like. Since I have a sibling, I had to share a lot of things. So, knowing I get to have this experience for myself makes me feel even more excited about continuing my studies and enjoying college life while it lasts.  

If you are a first-generation college student like me and you are trying to understand why you are here, remember the people you are doing it for. You are here to set the goal for yourself and those in your family that the dream of going to college and getting a career is possible. With the right resources and having a proper support system, you can get through college no matter what obstacles are in your way.  

Olivia Francis is a first-year member of the Her Campus at SBU chapter. She oversees the site’s culture, entertainment, and wellness verticals on the site, including mental health, relationships, TV shows, and movie coverage. Olivia is currently a first-year student majoring in Communications, Social Justice & Advocacy at St. Bonaventure University. Beyond Her Campus, Olivia has been published in many anthropologies over the years through an organization called Young Writers. In her free time, Olivia enjoys writing poetry and short stories, along with taking walks while listening to her favorite music genres on Spotify such as Pop or R&B. One of her goals is to travel the world someday and explore new foods and customs. An interesting fact about Olivia is she is not only the first college gen student but, she is the first female in her family to go for a higher education.