Being First in My Family to Attend College


Attending college was never a topic that was brought up in my household. In fact, college didn't become a point of discussion until my senior year of high school when all my fellow peers began talking about the ACT/SAT and college applications. It was at that moment that I realized I should start researching how and where to apply.

Coming from a first-generation household where my parents migrated to the United States from Mexico, there wasn’t an incentive to go to college. My parents never attended college themselves. For that reason, being a first-generation college student comes with several advantages and disadvantages.

Some were the number of support groups and the financial assistance that is available. For instance, my local Boys and Girls Club was one of the main support systems I had during my application process. They assisted me with filling out applications, essay prompts, financial aid documentation and scholarships. Their knowledge and support helped me through the application process and reach my goal of being admitted to CSULB. Being a first-generation student comes with the advantage of financial help, which allows students like me to attend college.

Now, being in the last semester of my undergraduate career, I can confidently say I feel privileged to have been allowed to attend college and study at a university that instilled academic and professional growth. I’ve grown immensely as an individual. Knowing that I am making my family proud makes everything worthwhile. I get to be a part of a grander community of fellow first-generation students who accomplished this success.