My Experience Being a Low-Income, First Generation Student

My Experience Being a Low-Income, First Generation Student

At my expensive, private college being both first-gen and low income is something not a lot of students can relate to; and it sometimes sucks.
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It is almost time for move in day on college again. Another year of bright faced freshman scared and unsure what they will encounter during the next four years. Everyone is unsure of how they are going to make friends, if they have enough meal swipes, where their classes are, and for first generation, low income, single parent, or really any student who is not the classic middle class WASP the experience is different. I cannot speak for what it is like to be a racial minority on campus but I can for what it is like to be a low income, first generation college student from a single parent household on a predominately white, rich campus. So that is what I am going to talk about today.

The differences start really the first day. Everyone talks about what their parents do. I have a few friends whose parents are lawyers, someone owns an IT company, someone else owns a medical supply company, and one of my friend’s dad is a friggin Ambassador. Most people accept my mom worked for Macy’s at the time but some kids gave you this look of confusion, almost like they are wondering how I got into my school. A lot of people think you mean your parent has a cooperate job and when they find out it is in store give you a look of confusion and once I was asked if I was poor, because apparently some people think that is perfectly acceptable to ask. So immediately lines are drawn in the sand of who you can be friends with (trust me you don’t want to be friends with someone who judges someone on what job they have).

Then people start talking about were their parents went to college and what they majored in, this is where it came out for me that I was first gen. A lot of people are completely fine with this fact since my college does have a decent first generation enrollment for its caliber. But some people take personal offense to that. I have been told on multiple occasions that I “do not seem like a first-gen student” because apparently first-gen is supposed to act a certain way. I’m never sure how to reply for those.

Since money is tight I obviously had to get a job. I know a lot of students who get jobs so I am not alone in that experience. However, our understanding of money is very different. A lot of my friends though I could go out more or afford nicer restaurants (we’re talking $20 meals here) because I had a job. No matter how many times I said that my money pays for college they still kept thinking I could go out more. While I appreciated the invites to them I did not appreciate the pressuring to go with the rational that I have a job so I must have the money. It is just not how it works.

While talking about money let’s talk about the conversations you will overhear about other people’s financial aid packages raising tuition for others and they do not belong on the campus, because you will hear it. Nothing else is worse than hearing that. While asking how you got into the school or saying you do not seem like a first gen student is ignorant this is just hateful. That is the moment I realized there are people on my campus who do not want me there just because I am not as well off as them. It confirmed my suspicions that some of the rude comments came from prejudice against lower classes just as much as it did ignorance. It also added onto the feeling that I was an outsider on my own campus, something which all the other experiences had just added to.

That is not to say the entire campus is against you. Most people want to see you succeed. They want you to have a better life. A lot of students I meet could not care less where your background is. But many students still fail at understanding how your background is going to mean you live life differently from them. Fortunately the students who are willing to accept you are also willing to listen and to learn. Most importantly they are the kids who made me feel like I belonged on my campus. For a campus with a rather tense class ( and racial but cannot speak to that) divide I am grateful for this because the one thing I would want to tell whoever is coming into campus in my shoes is that you do belong.

Cover Image Credit: Loyola University Chicago

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.
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There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

2. Binge watching television is not fun and actually difficult to do.

3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

8. People keep saying light is the most important thing in photographing. I honestly think the camera is more important.

9. Bacon is extremely overrated.

10. Literally, anything is better than going to the gym.

11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

12. Google doodles are annoying.

13. It is okay to not have an opinion on something.

14. It's weird when grown adults are obsessed with Disney.

15. This is how to eat a Kit Kat bar.

16. Mind your own business.

17. There is such a thing as an ugly baby.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Coffee Consideration: Pedophilia & The LGBT Community

Part 1 of the issue surrounding pedophilia and the LGBT community beginning with my personal feelings.

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Dear people who think pedophilia deserves a spot on the LGBT spectrum,

When I first read that 'pedophilia,' was being considered as being added among the LGBT community, I nearly spit out my coffee.

There were even Ted Talks featuring different people using phrases such as, 'they have feelings too,' and, 'we should consider all sexualities.'

My nose turned up, and the coffee I was drinking became a sudden catalyst to potential vomit. For the life of me, I couldn't understand why this was even being an idea to promote.

Now, I speak directly to those who feel compelled to 'consider the feelings,' of those who identify as pedophiles: did that person consider the feelings of the child they preyed upon?

I'm trying to find an image in my mind where a child's feelings were taken into consideration before their innocence was stripped cleanly away from them without protest. Alas, there are none that exist in my mind. No amount of Ted Talks will change that.

Even while I write this, I am still utterly shell-shocked that we live in an age where something in previous eras that was found to be horrific is now being pushed into society as a normality.

Any time someone wants to tell me that I'm black Alice and have accidentally fallen into Dysfunctional-land, please let me know immediately.

The LGBT community is not a lab where you can test out your ideas to see if they will work or not for the rest of society. It is a place in which people, some being my loved ones, had to fight and still are fighting to live within every day. There are people that have even died just to do so. If you'd like a metaphor, their community is their home, and your seeing pedophilia as a sexuality is the unwelcomed guest that walked in, kicked their feet up on the coffee table, and asked, 'what's for dinner?'

You are trying to place one of the most inexcusable acts onto another body of people, which is an absolute insult. I see this 'revelation' of yours as spitting in the face of the entire LGBT community.

You've actually inspired me to go catch up with the LGBT community so we can further discuss this atrocity over more coffee. That's the only thing you've done right, it seems, so, thank you?

Do you have children or know of children you are close to within your personal life? The next time you utter another word about having a pedophile pass as a person who is misunderstood, remember the face of the child you encounter every day. That is the very same person your 'misunderstood pedophile,' wants to prey upon.

Your opinion is your very own, but to summarize my feelings on everything I just said, I'll use the most informal approach in case you got confused along the way while reading:

You tried it.


Unapologetically,

Coffee Consideration

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