Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

First-Gen Day: The Importance of Understanding the First-Generation Student Experience

Stock+Image+from+istockphoto.com%0ACredit+to+Delpixart+%7C+Multiple+directions+
Stock Image from istockphoto.com Credit to Delpixart | Multiple directions

National First-Generation College Celebration or First-Gen Day happens on Nov. 8. This day was chosen due to national recognition leaning towards this day from the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965 on this day, and with its passing bringing the increase of federal funding and resources for universities, which would help provide much more financial assistance to low-income students. While that may be a main point of the celebration, On First Gen Day, we want to take the time to highlight and honor students who are the first to attend college in their families, taking themselves into a new and higher path of success that may not have been a possibility for anyone previously in their direct family.

 

This day is particularly important for me as well as many of my peers at UIS, I am a first-generation student, son of an immigrant, and a day like this is extremely important, as it celebrates and honors students like us who were able to make it to higher education after endless amounts of extra stress, hard work and dedication that not all have faced or been through on their journey to higher education. I come from a family in which my grandparents never attended school, my father never attended school, and my mother only attended up into the sixth grade, so being able to not only graduate high school with honors but also continue my education after that is something my family and I take great pride in, especially since I was only able to make it this far thanks to the ample amount of courage and support my parents have given me as well as all the hard work they have done to succeed and prosper in this country, so that I or my brother don’t have to work day and night, in bad conditions, in order to survive, and provide us with the chance to study for a prosperous future. This is my specific family life story, just one of many different life stories and journeys from a first-generation student perspective. So, on a day as important as this one, it is good to celebrate and honor those first-generation students you may know as they are working hard on achieving a better and prosperous future for them and their families.

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