Alec in Lawrence, KS

Alec in Lawrence, KS

Leaving the stereotype that plagued my family was and will continue to be one of the hardest feats I’ve accomplished. I came from a low-income family and was the first the make the trek toward an academic-backed future. Upon arrival at my institution, I felt incredibly overwhelmed and out-of-place. This feeling doesn’t subside completely but does lessen over time. Some advice to other first-gens: work on losing the imposter syndrome feelings of inadequacy and indulge yourself in the spaces you feel were not created with you in mind. Higher education in an institution of critical thinking, founded on ideals and rhetoric that feels foreign to us at the beginning, but, with careful and deliberate actions, we can reclaim these spaces as ours. We can make a home out of the dreams we hadn’t even dreamt of. Create a community of empathetic, caring people to help you navigate these complexities.