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The First-Generation College Graduate

By, Jessica S.

When attending graduation, you are surrounded by hundreds who have worked to achieve their bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree. Within those hundreds of graduates, are ones who are the first in their families to attend a four-year college/university and earn a bachelor's degree. A first-generation college graduate. As a graduate, there are times in which you have wanted to go back and give your younger self advice, to let yourself know it’s going to be okay. Alumni who were first-generation college students were asked two questions: What is one thing you would tell your younger self about being a first-generation college student and what advice do you have for current or future first-generation college students?

Alexander Acosta (KU ’17) Alexander Acosta

Q1: “One piece of advice I would give my younger self would be to always believe in yourself. Being a first-generation college student presents many challenges since most of us do not have anyone in our families who have experienced college. A lot of times I felt isolated and alone throughout many stages of college, but thankfully my professors were very trusting in my ability to learn and helped me believe I could graduate and chase my dream.”

Q2: “My advice for first-generation college students is simple; make a lot of friends and connections while you are here or anywhere. Networking/Connections/Bonds are what make going to college such a unique experience. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be here today!”  





Johnathan Jones (KU ‘18) Jonathan Jones

Q1: “Hang around the people that fit your future, not the ones that you necessarily feel the most comfortable around. Stick close to people that care and feel accountable for you.”

Q2: “Don’t waste your time trying to be someone you’re not. Trust your gut and keep moving forward. Everything will fall exactly into place.”

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