My university is writing an article about first-generation college students and I was given the opportunity to be their interviewee for the magazine piece. I was also asked to write a blog to go along with the article, and I couldn’t have been more honored to oblige.
It’s still hard for me to believe that I’m graduating in a little over a month. Mostly, it’s just extremely surreal. Had you told me four years ago that obtaining my degree would be a reality in the near future, I probably would have chuckled at you, but my heart would have started to beat a little faster too. As a first generation college student, college was just never something I thought too much about. But then it was. Still, I’ve gone about my life a little backwards in comparison of most of my other peers. I was working two jobs at 18, engaged at 19, married by 20 and a home-owner at 21. I see now that all of these things are a big deal, a REALLY big deal, but at the time none of these life-changing decisions even fazed me. It all came very naturally. I had grown up immersed in the world of hard work and young marriage and home-ownership. I had grown up in a family that worked their tails off to support my brother and I. Partly because of this, I had not grown up with a family that ever had the chance or the finances to attend a full-time college. I did, however, grow up with a family who did whatever they could to inspire and support my dreams. I also grew up in a family that made me into an extremely determined (or stubborn, or hard-headed, or crazy……but I prefer determined) young woman. Ergo when, at 20 years old, I decided I wanted to attend a four-year college, I had both the heart and the moral support to keep going full-swing ahead. I also happened to choose the perfect college to attend. My first semester at Concordia, I hosted my own on-campus radio show (which I continued to host almost every other semester since.) My second year at Concordia, I was given a role for the play “All In The Timing” (in which I made some of my fondest memories and met a couple of my closest friends) My third year at Concordia, I wrote for the school newspaper and was given an outlet to write about my own blog for the school magazine. Now, a month and a half before graduation, I have learned that I will be featured in an article about first-generation college students. All of these experiences basically encompass what my university has been for me: an outlet to fulfill my dreams, express my desires and showcase my talents. Even from the beginning, I had always felt not only accepted at my university, but also wanted. I clearly recall confetti popping out of the tube….The very tube that told me Concordia would love for me to be part of their crew….that was sent to me in the mail in 2010 with my acceptance letter. The confetti and the college thing were just the beginning of means for celebration. Fast forward a few years later, and I’m still celebrating. I’m overwhelmed with the opportunities I’ve been blessed with; Amongst these,the chance to be an event blogger, an intern for the Red Cross, a happily married home-owner and a very-soon-to-be graduate of Concordia University. By taking the unconventional route, I found a wonderful husband, a supportive school and the confidence to fulfill some of the goals that, four years ago, I would have told you were far-fetched at best.
Looking forward, I couldn’t be any happier that I went about my life backwards. Who knows if I’d even be an event-blogging-social-media-interning-married-home-owning-almost-graduate any other way?