I Paved My Way Through

First generation students of color deserve more

College is not easy.

Being a woman in a male-dominated field of study, being a person of color in a predominantly white campus, or coming from a family who has no high school experience are all things that add layers to an already challenging college experience.

I am a first generation student of color and I had to pave my way to and through college.

I had no clue what I was doing. There was no guidance for me as a freshman.

But I still moved over 600 miles away from home to pursue my education and take advantage of the opportunities my parents never had. It takes a 12 hour drive to get back to my family and support system.

I was scared and I struggled.

I had to face many obstacles in order to succeed and navigate my way through college.

I had to submit myself to debt before I learned that I had a financial aid advisor.

I had to fail my first exam to learn what office hours were.

I had to take the wrong courses to learn that I had an academic advisor.

I cried and I struggled because I did not have the support system at college like I did at home.

It wasn’t until two years later that I found my community. It took me nearly half of my college career for me to find people that I could relate to.

And unfortunately, some people come to Humboldt State University and never find their community.

Some people come to HSU and do not realize that a piece of their college tuition goes to the resources on campus that they have not been taking advantage of.

It shouldn’t be this way, HSU. We are recruiting these students in from hundreds of miles away and we are not serving them.

Now, I’m not saying that HSU does not have the support mechanisms in place, but if students are not using these resources then we are not serving our students.

We are letting our first generation students of color fall through the cracks and HSU needs to figure out how to reach them and accommodate them.   

And as for students, don’t suffer in silence. There is still time to take advantage of those resources that HSU has failed to get you to use.

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