First to graduate

Photo courtesy of Chi Omega nationals | Beth West, future Winthrop alumna, is excited to share her story and experience as a first-generation college graduate.Photo courtesy of Chi Omega nationals | Beth West, future Winthrop alumna, is excited to share her story and experience as a first-generation college graduate.

Seniors talk about being the first to graduate in their family

Graduation is right around the corner, which means it’s time for seniors to reminisce about their four long years in college. For some students, this day may have seemed impossible because they were raised in a home where no one was a college graduate.

These seniors were able to share their stories about what it means to be the first college graduate in their families.

“A degree is an achievement that statistically I should not have received. It is hard work, expensive, thoughtful and clout. I’m so excited to be done and to show my brother that he can do it too. I have been so lucky to have gained leadership experience, countless friends, and a chance to think deeper and more critically” Beth West, a senior political science major, said.

Photo courtesy of Chi Omega nationals | Beth West, future Winthrop alumna, is excited to share her story and experience as a first-generation college graduate.

Photo courtesy of Chi Omega nationals | Beth West, future Winthrop alumna, is excited to share her story and experience as a first-generation college graduate.

“My grandfather was a smart man, but he never had the opportunity to go to college. Then my father graduated in the top 10% of his class, but he couldn’t afford to go. My mom was privileged enough to go, but she never finished it. So being the first at this milemark where I’m finishing college makes me feel really proud. I can show [younger family members] that I have broken this curse and that it’s possible.” Tadean Page, a senior individualized studies major, said.

“Receiving my degree means I am able to get a good job and go farther. Both of my parents have a high school degree or some college, and my mom is actually going back to college so that she can have more job opportunities. So [graduating] is a big thing in my family because only 2 or 3 people outside of my immediate family have actually done it. Being able to do whatever I want with my life is extremely important to me” Lauren Stiltner, a senior business administration major, said.

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