Going to college can be pretty daunting, especially when no one in your family has gone before you. Roughly 30 percent of college students are the first ones in their family to go. I am part of that percentage.
Junior year is when all the pressure of college begins to set in. The ACT is looming over you, AP credits are seemingly more important than ever now, and teachers are constantly asking what your plans are. Then in senior year, you decide if you need to take the ACT again, fill out college applications, and apply to scholarships. On top of all this, many students, including myself, didn’t have a parent or sibling to relate to them as they went through this process.
I honestly considered not going to college or trying to find some type of certificate program because of how scared I was of the application, moving away, and taking challenging classes. Once I got through the application and acceptance to attend University of Louisville, the stress of it all left me for a bit. I finished my senior year practically stress free, enjoying prom and graduation as much as I could.
Then the day before move-in day came. I had held in all emotions because I didn’t want to admit to being fearful about moving a short two hours away from home. But holding in all the emotion wasn’t the best thing to do. I finally had a meltdown the day before I left for Louisville. I told my mom I was going to drop all my classes and take a gap year to work at the mall or something, just so I could ease into independence. My mom cried along saying she wished that was an option, but she knew this leap was necessary for me.
She was right, like moms normally are. After moving in and meeting some new people and reconnecting with some friends from high school, I was completely comfortable. I still get a bit homesick, but that’s normal.
Completing the application, getting accepted, and becoming independent made me feel very accomplished. Knowing that this leap I took will lead next generations to take the same leap is a priceless feeling.
So to all you first generation college students out there, thank you for the hard work that you put in for yourself and your future generations. You are making a difference!