As a first-generation college student, you navigate through your college experience filled with uncertainty and face obstacles you may not always be equipped to overcome... However, being first-gen is a constant reminder of why you are here and whom you are doing this for.
Stockton University is celebrating First Gen Week Nov. 7-11. Here's how junior Rachel Rodriguez defines being a first-generation student and her experience. #CelebrateFirstGen
Being a first-generation college student means being one of the first in my family to pursue a higher education that will set a new path for the next generation. To my family, being a first-generation represents the efforts and sacrifices my parents faced to provide me with the opportunities they did not have. If not for my parents, I would not be here today. Their hard work and resilience are what motivate me to keep going.
As a first-generation college student, you navigate through your college experience filled with uncertainty and face obstacles you may not always be equipped to overcome. We set extremely high expectations for ourselves that sometimes make us question our potential. However, being first-gen is a constant reminder of why you are here and whom you are doing this for.
The (Educational Opportunity Fund - Galloway) EOF program and its amazing staff have supported me throughout this challenging journey. As an incoming first-year student, my ideas about the program were unknown even during the course of the summer program; I remained unsure of how beneficial it would be to me. As days passed, I realized that the relationships I was creating and supplemental instruction would result in the most useful part of my enrollment in this program.
When I joined Los Latinos Unidos, I found my home away from home. I was not alone in being a first-generation Latina who could have quickly fallen through the cracks of college life. Today I am privileged to be part of a club that creates a safe space for Latinx students here at Stockton and work hard to continue to bring the Latin community together.
This Voice was originally published as a part of a series for 2022's First Generation Week. At the time of publication, and currently, Rodriguez was a Biology major with a concentration in Pre-Professional Studies and a minor in Behavioral Neuroscience.