I graduated in the top 10 in my HS class, but ended up with a 0.9 GPA in my first quarter. With the support of Educational Opportunity Program staff, campus resources, and a strong support network of family and friends, many who were also first gen, I graduated 4.5 years later.
I am forever grateful to the upperclass first gen students in my network who let me know if was ok to struggle and temporary setbacks were just that—temporary. I think staying grounded in the values that got me to college, finding support on-campus, and staying connected to my communities made all the difference. Getting involved on campus developed my love of working with college students. Now I am an academic advisor while working on my PhD in education, and I research first gen student success. I am first gen proud!