Something that I struggled the most with as a first year was the feeling that I was not enough. Not smart enough, not articulate enough, not assertive enough to be able to stand toe to toe with my peers. I’m from straight hood and these girls were from a world of pearls, prestige, and privilege.

As a senior now, I felt the same pang of inadequacy in my Biology seminar. It’s kind of like a whiplash reaction. The first couple of days back in school are the most difficult because I have to readjust to the culture here. Something that I now have as a senior is grit. Grit and a self-assuredness that I earned my place in this school just as much as my peers did.

As a first-gen student, nothing was ever spoon-fed to me. I had to go hunting for every bit of information, every chance out there and grab it by the horns. It’s not an easy life, but it’s the kind that makes you high-five yourself for each achievement be it large or small. We fight our battles on the daily, and come out so much stronger for it. We are going to be really awesome old people with great stories of how we pulled ourselves by the bootstraps. I mean that’s the do-it-yourselfer dream isn’t it?

In your moment of weaknesses tell yourself that you are enough, MORE than enough, you are a star, a magical being that cannot be contained. And if you can’t tell yourself that, then let me tell you that you are a fighter, one that fights admirably through each round, you have a quiet strength that is fearsome, a determination that is stronger than anything you know. You have just as much a right to have big dreams as the person next to you. You are amazing. You are enough.