What does being a first-generation college student mean to you?
Being first-gen means that I am making history! I am very proud to be only the third person in my extended family to graduate with a Bachelor's degree. I know that my experiences are creating an easier path for my family in generations to come. It helps me believe that I am truly a leader and can correctly guide younger first-gen college students. My message to them has always been that anything is possible and they are not alone in this journey.
What obstacles did you face in this context?
There were a lot of doubts and moments of hopelessness while applying and starting college. I was very nervous to make any type of mistake whether it was on my college applications or really thinking if I chose the right university. A lot of researching. A lot of translating. A lot of decision-making. The irony is that I was bound to make mistakes since I had no close guidance on how to do all this stuff! Only two of my cousins were in college at the time, so they were also trying to "figure it out" themselves. I had to learn and become comfortable with asking for help, whether it was from my high school guidance office or college admissions offices. Celebrating the small successes definitely helped me move along.
What advice do you have for other first-generation students?
The most important thing to remember is that it is okay to ask for help!!! We are so fortunate to live in a time where there are so many resources to help first-gen students, whether it is in-person or virtual. I am sure those resources will become even more tailored as the years go on. Be proud of who you are and what you represent - use this as motivation to keep succeeding. Lastly, never forget where you came from - help those who are younger than you and guide them down the right path.