The route of a minority, low-income, first-generation student is filled with road-blocks and a mix of emotions: anxiety, fear, confusion, happiness, and sadness. I know because I am a first-gen student. I’m anxious to see what’s beyond my hometown; to see the things that I can accomplish. But I am also scared that I will not make it or that I will not do as well as I have these past few years in high school.
This fall, I will embark on the road less traveled by someone with my background – I will leave my home and family to achieve my “impossible dream.”
My family is centered by strong Mexican beliefs. When my mother encouraged me to apply to out-of-state schools, I was shocked. I know she wanted the best for me, but I didn’t expect her to be okay with me leaving. My father, however, was a completely different story. It took months for him to finally realize that I would be better off attending a small, private college away from home rather than a large, public, state university nearby. Now, both of my parents are glad and proud to say their daughter will be attending one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation.
Since the day I received Smith’s acceptance letter, I decided I had to start getting ready for college. Of course, going to a college located in the northeast entails the purchase of a previously nonexistent winter wardrobe, including winter boots and a thick coat. In addition to augmenting my wardrobe, I have been preparing mentally and emotionally this summer. I spend as much time as I can with my family – since I have never been far away from them for more than two weeks at a time. I also will start reading Whistling Vivaldi, a summer reading assignment from Smith. I have even started to conduct research about the academic advisers for my major and the different programs offered.
I may not be like the other students who will be attending Smith, but I am happy that I made the decision to go. I am scared of what the next four years will have in store for me, but I know that I made the right decision and it will all be worth it.