longd-85It’s silly to admit now but coming into high school I didn’t really know what I was going to do with myself.  I maintained decent grades, but there wasn’t much of a motivation to do anything else after high school. I thought that college wasn’t a possibility because my parents couldn’t have paid for it. Looking back now this was the terrible mindset; do not let finances be the reason why you are deterred from college. Later, I found out was there are plenty of resources and scholarships that I could take advantage of by simply being myself, a first generation student with college aspirations. I was fortunate enough to have the wisdom and support of my teachers, counselor and family. They taught me to value education, and use it as a tool to push myself to achieving my goals. Also, they motivated me to excel in school rather than just breeze by so that I could get to college and pursue my education, regardless of financial obstacles.

What really pushed me to being the first in my family to go to college is the idea that I could help other students get to college. Specifically, first generation students who want to pursue their education. This thought motivated me throughout my application process and will continue to motivate me throughout college. This is why I recommend taking some time once in awhile to reflect upon yourself and your goals.  It may sound silly but it does put things in perspective, which will in turn help you make decisions. For example, throughout my application process I thought about what I wanted to get out of college. After living in Boston the majority of my life so I wanted a change in pace and experience something different. This conscious choice helped me narrow my college list down to a lot of small liberal arts colleges in rural areas. Furthermore, after two and a half months of school at Williams I can say that I am very happy with the choice I’ve made in going to a small liberal arts college. Always remember to take some time and ask yourself what you really want out of your experiences. Whether it is high school, going through applications, or picking a college, just take a few seconds and reflect. It will help you through your search and application process immensely.