About 18 years ago, I became a part of my parents life. As usual, they taught me basic discipline, defense, leadership and more. My family is from Hispanic heritage, where completing a college education is not expected for the future. As a result, my parents enforced the importance of education, and encouraged me to graduate high school and further my education by attending the college of my choice. In addition, I have recently graduated high school with Honors, and it was an incredible feeling being able to make my parents proud knowing that I am the first Honor graduate even in my extended family.
Growing up, I saw how my mom struggled to find a career she enjoys with just her high school diploma, even though she is a very intelligent person. Seeing her unhappy and unfulfilled made me determined to change the order that I make my choices in life. Don’t get me wrong, I want to have a family eventually. But instead of having a child first, like all of the women in my family before me, I want to complete my education and start my career. Family will come after.
School School has always been my escape; it is a way for me to leave reality and be productive in something I am sure will one day change my life entirely. Graduating from high school was a step I was always afraid off, I was aware of college was around the corner and I was not sure how I would come up with the money to pursue my career in Marketing and Graphic Design. Financially, I had no help, whether it was from the college I decided to attend or from my parents. I concluded that the only way for me to attend higher education, was to pay out of pocket, as no matter how hard I attempted to search and apply for undocumented/DACA student scholarships, I was never awarded any. As a young child, I have enjoyed the idea of selling products
Although it’s a new experience it builds up a lot of pressure for the first generation college students because their family excepts you to do well and make them proud. In a recent interview I did with a fellow classmate, Carmen Li, she talks about how “Going to college is not only the dream of my parents but also mine as well. I want to be a useful person and find a good career to support my family. I don 't want to live in the box under the bridge.” Many first generations can agree with what she said because no parents want their children to be living in a box under the bridge. Parents have high expectations for their children to succeed.
I made a choice to return to school after 20 years because I wanted to open up myself to more job options. I have also preached the value of a good education to my children. Two of them are now college aged, so I decided I needed to set a good example for them.
If she could change on part of her life it would be high school. She would relive high school because she would want to try harder and care more about her grades. Her greatest success in life was graduating college and becoming a teacher. That was her greatest success because it was her dream to be a teacher. My favorite memory with my mom is when we took a cruise the day after christmas.
Before I became a mother I felt as though I had all the time I wanted to take care of my education. This all changed once I held her for the first time; the realization that if I wanted to provide a good life for her I could no longer procrastinate on my education. I needed to
That is what this life is about. You sacrifice for those you love. That is what my parent’s did. They brought my sister and I to this land of opportunity and even though they used their chance on us, their chance to follow their dreams, I will follow mine for them. People always ask me how I do so well in school, how I have the energy to do all the homework, study for the tests, do extra curricular activities, and never give up.
Alas, first-generation students are the first in their family to pursue a college education, therefore they do not have the same resources. Ithaca College decided to begin a program to give students an easier transition to their higher education, and I believe all colleges should follow their example. A transition to college is already difficult for students who were guided and helped by relatives. Now, first generation students often begin their semester blindfolded. First of all, student orientations are the most vital initiation process for all students.
Although, I thoroughly enjoy working for Children’s Homecare especially the families I work for, I cannot advance my career without further education. In the last few years, I have found it difficult to work more hours, take care of my family and go to school. My husband works hard to provide for our family, nonetheless, in today’s world you need both parents working to financially make ends meet. I am scheduled to graduate May of 2018 from Stark State College with an associate’s degree in nursing. I plan to continue my education and work on my bachelor degree in nursing, while working as an RN.