Friday, January 24, 2014

What It's Like to Be the First Person in Your Family to Go to College

When Harry arrived at Vanderbilt University in 2008, he became the first person in his family to attend college. His parents were immigrants from Nicaragua, and he had attended a so-called “academically and economically disadvantaged” high school on the North side of Miami. Even after completing a rigorous IB program as a high-school student and receiving a scholarship, he arrived on campus feeling like an outsider.

“Never before had I truly felt such an extreme sense of estrangement and alienation,” he says of his first few months. “I quickly realized that although I may look the part, my cultural and socio-economic backgrounds were vastly different from those of my predominantly white, affluent peers. I wanted to leave.”


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