By Jordan Foster
Challenges appear throughout the course of your college experience but there are some perks as well. There are different perspectives of being a first generation college student as a minority.
Being a first generation college student is difficult. It is similar to jumping in an ocean without the ability to swim. Everything is new to first generation college students as well as their parents and family. Whether it is FAFSA, the application, the transition, or the cost of attendance, everything is new to the students. Like they say, trying new things can open numerous of opportunities and experiences.
In most cases, parents have some kind of college experience. However, it is also true that some parents have never been to college. This concern puts heavy pressure on the student to succeed once they start attending a university. They feel as if they have to live up to certain expectations so they will not be another statistic.
Courtny Hill is a first generation college student at Winthrop University.
“I love being the first in my family to go to college. I feel very accomplished and that I am going to go farther and be successful in the future.”
She believes that the struggle getting into college is worth it once you finally get into a routine. Family can be a great support system when it comes to dealing with college in general.
“[My family] is being very helpful with as much as they can. My parents have helped with motivating me to get good grades and to help financially whether it’s taking out loans under their names or paying out of pocket,” junior, Deminique Quiñones said. In college, stress can be one of the leading factors causing a student to drop out or fail classes. Stress can be very hard as a college student, so having a source of comfort and stability can help them out. Stress can come in different form and scenarios. However, there are other resources that Winthrop University offers as well as outside support too.
As far as resources go, there are many scholarships and grants at the disposal of students who happens to struggle with financial needs. Financial instability is one of the many factors that can affect first generation students while in college. Winthrop offers students scholarship opportunities for all types of majors and degree programs.
Katie Marcelino who is also a freshman, has a scholarship for Musical Theatre which pays her full way through her time at Winthrop.
“The scholarship I received covers my tuition in its entirety. It is such an honor and a blessing. I get to do what I love at an amazing University, and I am so excited to see where Winthrop takes me,” Marcelino said. Despite the various setbacks, there are various ways to overcome them.
First generation college students set examples for future students who have the similar situation. They may have trouble with the idea of transitioning from high school or maybe the pressure from their fault to succeed.
“Some advice that I would give to future students is to not give up. No matter how hard it is or how hard it may seem, giving up is not the answer. You are here for a reason which is to make a better life for yourself. Do not give up on school and definitely do not give up on yourself,” Quiñones said.