High hopes, high dreams, being the first to make it out the hood! Everything feels like it’s coming up roses when you’re the first to have an opportunity at college. No one else in your family has done or experienced what’s ahead for you. You feel somewhat anxious, but proud all at the same time.
In reality, being a first generation college student, especially from the “hood,” is almost synonymous to being a lab rat. College becomes this huge maze, a lone journey, to have to maneuver through. Often hitting walls, you will to make it to the finish line, right?
While everyone watches, with a close eye, one may find them self in situations that may or may not be favorable; like the daunting task of choosing a major. This can be difficult for a first generation college student (from the “hood”), because typically, there are no inspiring examples or anyone to provide informative feedback.
It’s quite possible too, that a first generation college student has had very little exposure to career professionals in their immediate environment. With little to go on, many could find themselves going from major to major, which could result in frustration or ultimately leaving college without a degree.
This is an ongoing and unfortunate challenge for first generation college students (as a whole) to overcome. Shouldn’t everyone have a fair shot at the American dream and begin new legacies? Although some mentor programs exist on college campuses, more college administrators should increase opportunities for their first term generation students.
Giving all students an even playing field would do wonders for all involved, including the university’s reputation of grad rates and alum donations. This writer believes that these are dollars worth fighting for. Then maybe Sallie Mae would get paid too.