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Dear First Gens,
Several #collegeapplications were due last month and the next steps in the college admissions process is underway. You may be going on interviews, college visits, or speaking to alumni, but you should also consider the advantages and disadvantages of attending a school where you live or away from home before "signing day". Is your unique obligation as a first gen telling you to stay home? Or is your unique identity pushing you to go away? Given that I come from a close family and receive great support by living close to them, this was a tough decision for me to make when I was in your shoes.
On March 13, 2017, at 3:00 p.m., I will be participating in a joint #webinar with a fellow first gen who possesses a Ph.D. and specifically coaches first-generation college students. The topic of conversation is "The Pros and Cons of Attending an In-State College vs. an Out-of-State College".
You can join by clicking the bar above!!! We will be sharing information on the student experience of attending a school nearby or away from home.
I was introduced to Dr. Eve via Instagram and have been inspired by her words of wisdom over the past several months. Last month, on my birthday, she published a post on her blog entitled, "The Decision".
I finally figured out what I was
Going to do today
I’m not sure if you’ll like it but
I know you’ll be okay
I did it for me
I did it for you
I did it for us
It wasn’t easy but
I did it
See, choosing which way to go
Wasn’t easy and I know we
Talked over this thing a thousand times
On some days I almost Iost my mind
But we both know
I tried to avoid doing anything for
As long as possible because
I didn't want to have to decide
Not this way
Not like this
At least not now
You should be proud of me though
No more going back and forth
No more wondering
No more long and sleepless nights
Of course I’ve had some doubts
But I know that this is right
We’ve stayed at this crossroad
Much longer than I imagined we would
But with clarity I know which way to go
I trust myself
So I am going to be on my way and
Journey on down this road
Life is filled with decisions. Some may be harder than others; however, you have to be patient and trust yourself. At times, your choices may lead you to new and unfamiliar roads, but this doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice—you just have to adjust your sail and go with the flow—be open to something new. As all of life is a process, you are in constant stats of living and learning. At the end of the day, no matter what, the most important thing is that you do what’s best for you.
The Purpose Professor
Click on the link to visit her website and read other posts.
***Disclaimer: 2017. All rights reserved. All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. No reproduction of any content on the website without the express permission of the author. The text, pictures and videos are the sole property of FirstGenRise.
Jordan Thompson is a first-generation attorney and is in the beginning phase of living up to the phrase, "If you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere." She traveled to NYC for school and has built an impeccable resume since her move to the Big City!
Her story of triumph and accomplishment is for First Gens looking to enter corporate America. You may be growing impatient or wondering when your time will arrive. HOLD ON!
I also invite first gens interested in learning an approximate timeline for job interviews to watch the video.
This month's featured First Gen has embraced her first year of living abroad. Read about her journey in becoming the first in her family to live in another country and miles away from her family.
1. What is your name?
My name is Bridget Lotoft.
2. What is your current occupation?
I am currently working as a Paralegal Specialist in Japan. My previous work experience involves advocacy work within law enforcement and volunteer work with survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
3. What is your education background?
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology with a concentration in Women Studies and Sociology minor. Also, I earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice.
4. What is your family background?
My mom and dad are both from South Georgia. My dad joined the Navy and as a result, I moved a lot. My parents divorced and we settled in Glen Burnie, Maryland. I grew up in single-parent home where my mother working overnight while I was in high school was normal. Seeing her work hard to make sure we had our basic needs met motivated me to want to help others in similar situations and further my education. I come from a family that has a lot of secrets and from that, it's pretty divisive. So I am working on recreating my own family traditions. Among my siblings, I am the first to finish school, but I have a few cousins who completed college as well.
5. Do you have any "firsts" recognized by your family?
I am the first of my family to move out of the country.
Dear First Gen,
One of my favorite hobbies is traveling. My brother and I have a friendly competition where if either one of us visits a place before the other, the other sibling works overtime to avoid traveling to that location. (My parents are not fans of our "explorer" spirit.)
I have met several first gens who do not own a passport or have used their passport to only travel to their family's birth country. Yes, it was shocking for me to hear, too! Recently, I returned from a trip and enjoyed the culture, the food, beach and also learned how two languages were simultaneously taught in a classroom and reinforced at home.
For example, my friend and I were in the post office mailing postcards to our friends and family back home. My friend asked the postal worker how to say pen in their language and she responded. Another customer, older woman, joined the conversation and began singing a song that taught her certain words in both languages including the pen. Another customer overheard her and sang along and then the postal worker chimed in and sang along, too. The young postal worker confirmed a decades-old classroom instruction still being taught and had not been forgotten by the two older women.
A fellow first gen has written the guest post below:
As a first-generation law student, I was surprised that so many of my classmates were children of attorneys. Many of them had worked at their parents’ law firms prior to starting law school and they had established connections. I, on the other hand, didn’t have the skills or a single connection to lean on when I entered law school. But I have found that a love for travel is a great way to connect with people.
There are so many reasons to study abroad. You will make friendships that last a lifetime, you will experience a new country as a local, and you will broaden your horizons more than you thought possible.
Your study abroad experience is also something that will enhance your ability to connect with people throughout your life. When you go on interviews or to networking events, many other professionals will have traveled extensively, and your study abroad experience will give you talking points and help you make connections with people who share your passion for traveling.
As excited as I was to study abroad in my second year of law school, I was even more excited to head to the “motherland.” My relatives left Italy in the 1920s, but their traditions remained strong and have influenced my life in many ways. Although I had been to Europe once before, I had never been to Italy.
This month’s featured First Gen is also outstanding, has a knack for simplicity, and is admirably humble. He pursued his graduate education out-of-state and impressed his classmates by being valedictorian of his graduating class. (I thought I would mention it since he would want to keep it quiet.)
1. What is your name? Charlie Mileski
2. What is your current occupation? Attorney
3. What makes you a first-generation graduate/professional? I am the first person in my immediate family to attend graduate school and to become an attorney.
4. What was your proudest moment as a first generation? And why? My proudest moment as a first generation was my graduation from law school. Law school was stressful and full of challenges. However, I powered through. My entire family attended my graduation, most traveling cross-country. Seeing my parents’ and brothers’ faces and the tears in their eyes as I received high honors and graduated made it all worthwhile.
5. What advice would you give to a first-generation student, graduate, or professional? Always be prepared and always plan for what may happen in the future. As long as you have a set plan and set goals, you will have a personal guide to success.
6. What is your favorite quote? And why? "Kid, you’ll move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!" [Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss)] This is an amazing quote because there will be mountains to overcome and you'll always need a reminder that you can overcome them!
***Disclaimer: 2016. All rights reserved. All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. No reproduction of any content on the website without the express permission of the author. The text, pictures and videos are the sole property of FirstGenRise.