A few months back I was asked to do a Q&A on my experience as a 1st generation college graduate. Unfortunately it never made it to print. However I still wanted to share my answers, as I think it may help other students in need. Enjoy
What inspired you to become the first in your family to graduate from college?
My parents and professors actually inspired me to become the first in my family to graduate from college. They have instilled in me right from my early childhood the importance of education. I had never any doubt that I would go to college, even if no one else in my family did before.
Did you have any role models or mentors along your path?
Actually, all of the professors that I’ve ever come in contact with along my path, served as true role models and mentors. They provided me with so much wisdom, knowledge and support throughout my entire college journey. Even though a vast majority of my college courses were completed online, I was in constant communication with my instructors both off and online. I am grateful to my professors, who at all times encouraged and motivated me to complete college. I feel that it is very important to have access to the right kind of guidance while you are pursuing your college degree; I would have given up many times, but for the constant support I received from my professors-I was determined to prevail.
Describe any challenges and “ah-ha” moments you experienced.
The biggest challenge for me initially was getting acclimated to “college life” and adjusting my weekly schedule to accommodate the research and homework assignments required.
The biggest “ah-ha” moment for me was when I finally realized how important time management was. I quickly realized that in order for me to successfully juggle work and school, I needed to develop a concrete plan and detailed weekly schedule. Once I got this new schedule together, I was able to go week-to-week at ease because of my concrete plan.
You have to be meticulously organized to be able to get through college life successfully; and fortunately, this is not as difficult to achieve as it sounds. All you need is a solid plan and commitment in order to successful complete college.
What has this accomplishment meant to you and your family?
Graduating from college meant the world to both my family and me. It was an absolute wonderful experience and one that I will be forever grateful for. Growing up I had such low self esteem-so this accomplishment helped me realize that I can truly accomplish any goal that I set my mind on.
Besides giving me a boost to my self-worth and confidence, graduating from college opened new horizons for me both professionally and personally.
How has being the first shaped your world-view and aspirations?
Being the first truly shaped my world-view and aspiration in that no matter who you are or where you’re from, you can too attend and graduate from college. It is my mission to inspire and help students alike successfully complete college. My life experience has truly shaped my world-view in a very positive way and I want to instill that in other first generation students (like myself).
Graduating from college is a life-changing milestone. It fuels your dreams and gives you a vehicle to change those dreams into reality. The good news is that this something every person can achieve – with the right motivation, commitment and process. This is definitely one of the roads that lead to personal and professional success.
Do you have any advice or recommendations for our students who are aspiring to become the first in their families to graduate from college?
Do it. College education will give you the key to success like you have never imagined. Your confidence will soar, your finances will improve and you will have a direction in life. You can do it – it is not as difficult as it seems. In fact, if you take one step at a time and stay motivated, you would be surprised how fast the time passes… and suddenly you are a FIRST GRADUATE!
Anything else to add?
Nothing limits you from going to college and graduating other than your own self-doubts. Make up your mind that you can do it – just as I could do it and just as so many others before me could do it as well. The boost in self-confidence and the opportunities a college degree will offer you are so well worth the trouble. Just DO IT!
Knight International, Inc.
"Education Coach and
Mentor Tanya Knight help parents, students and
adult learners successfully prepare, enter and
graduate from the college of their choice. Get
her FREE eBook "Top 10 Simple Secrets to Getting
into the College of Your Choice" at www.TheEducationCoach.com