I am the first in my family to go to college. I took it upon myself to start to invest in my future. I waited ten years before I decided there is a better way to get a good job. I started with on-line classes at the community college. I have had to pay for every class that I have taken and all the books for those classes as well. My parents grew up in the 60’s and were busy in their lives. Mom married young and Dad became a Police Officer. That is a great achievement in our family. He was raised in a military family as was my mom. Both enjoyed learning but never found their way to college.
My siblings have all wanted to do more. Only two of us have been able to actually begin the college life. My brother was given the opportunity via the Marines. I am still working toward the degree and I am happy that I have come as far as I have. I have three great kids and One fantastic husband. The support is sometimes missing; but pushing myself to achieve my own goals is what keeps me going.
One noticeable struggle about being the first generation to attend college is that no one in them family can relate to my work load. No one really understands how much work it actually takes to stay in the higher GPA classes. They are all proud of what I have done thus far, but there is the missing support.
College for the first generation may seem like a foreign land. Most campuses are often and extension of high school. The grounds are filled with young people ready to break free from mom and dad and have a great time. Often they get off track. School work can become second on their list of priorities. This is a problem for many college students; because unlike high school; there is no make up work accepted. If you get behind you stay behind.
Money is another struggle. Often a student finds that no money to spend is stressful. One may have to obtain a job in order to make it from week to week. Check with your campus, sometimes there are jobs that can be done right on campus. This will ease some stress for you. Finding a way to make money, keep your grades and have a life out of school is a big challenge.
If you are in the position to be the first generation in your own family; take the time to get your parents involved. Have them make campus visits with you. Send them a copy of your syllabus and schedule so they can see exactly what your doing in school. Keep everyone informed with your progress. These steps will help you gain the support you will need to succeed.