I never worried about whether I would get to attend college after I graduated high school. Granted, I was worried about student loans and finances just like anyone else, but I knew that college was always in the picture. Both of my parents have encouraged this decision since I can remember. They have always prioritized my education.
Their support has been especially meaningful to me because neither of them attended a four-year university, making me a first generation college student. I am reminded constantly of how fortunate I am to be able to attend school with their help.
Whenever I sit in class, learning about the subjects I love and cherish, I cannot help but think of how hard my parents have worked to make this possible for me. I remember how my dad would stay up late at night, researching schools and helping me book visits. My mom would encourage me to look at schools with my "dream major," even if it wasn't necessarily the most practical option. Together, they made sure I had a balance between practicality and dream-chasing. I am both grounded and have my head in the clouds, which is something for which I will always be thankful.
When they call me to check in throughout the semester, I get to tell them what I'm learning about. They are always excited to hear about my most recent presentation, what I'm involved in on campus, and how I'm doing at work. I love getting to share my experiences with them, even though I cannot help but wish I could give them these same experiences. I wish every day that they could experience the beauty of this college with me.
Most importantly, even though I am going to college for myself, I am also going to college for them. I know that this is my future, but I still want to make my parents proud. I want to prove to them that their hard work was worth it, that I will fight for my dream and for my success with all the power I have. Receiving an education is not something to be taken lightly, and I will never lose sight of that because of my parents.
Being a first generation college student is a blessing. Each day I walk on campus to my next class or next club meeting, I remember just how fortunate I am to be taking this all in.