Every Student Has a Story: Personal Narratives from First-Generation College Students

TRIO Student Support Services at IPFW, Lenfestey, & Kever / / September 2016

Every student has a story

This book is a compilation of essays about what it’s like being the first person in your family to go to college. TRIO Students at Indiana University -Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana offer compelling narratives of personal experiences stemming from being a first-generation student in college. While no two situations are alike, many students report struggling with social and cultural adjustments; insecurities about information or processes; personal family situations and dynamics; and physical or mental health issues. Some of the struggles students chose to write about in this book include cultural differences, family tragedies, unrealistic expectations of college, family health issues, and insecurities about choosing a major. It is our hope that these personal narratives resonate with other first-generation college students and help affirm that they are not alone—but a part of a much larger community of first-generation students. It is also our hope that these essays increase dialogue on campuses regarding struggles outside of the classroom that many first-generation students face in their journeys toward graduation.