Success Stories

inset_right_02When you’re making college plans, it’s normal to feel a little uncertain at times. After all, it’s one of the biggest decisions in your life. That’s why it really helps to know that other students out there struggled with the same feelings and got through it. At the website First in the Family, you can read the advice of real students who were the first in their families to go to college. Below we excerpt some of their words, gathered by What Kids Can Do.

“Put Yourself Out There”

“You never know who can help you, and later in life they can still help. If you shut out people, you’re going to be by yourself. Network, lean, connect, and talk to people. You can’t go through high school staying to yourself. Colleges these days are looking for well-rounded people. So get out of the shell and put yourself out there.” —Eric Polk, Wake Forest University

“College Is Attainable”

“Stepping foot on a college campus as a high school student puts you that much closer to your goals. You can only go after things that you know about, that’s the thing. You visit a college, and maybe you don’t like that one– but you find something there that’s interesting that you could possibly get into. Maybe they have a publication on campus that you thought was really cool. Maybe they have a nice hangout spot. It makes it more tangible. Something that you can grasp and build on. It shows you college is attainable.” –Niema Jordan, Northwestern University

“Taking That Chance”

“I did not think about going to college. The only purpose I went to the college for was to play tennis, but actually I made a couple friends. One is a girl, and the other one is a boy. They are Chinese. They go here. They are college students, and they know more English than I do. By taking that chance you are able to meet people at the college who will serve you as a bridge. — Naixing Lei, City College of San Francisco

“Better and Better”

“I met my boyfriend in ninth grade, and he wasn’t into school. He ended up getting his GED ’cause he didn’t graduate, and then I tried to talk him into community college here. He struggled with the same exact things I did: ‘What if I’m not up to the level?’ or ‘I don’t think I’m smart enough.’ I’m like, ‘No, you’re smart enough, I know it, I believe you!’ Finally I went down there and applied with him. He got a scholarship, and he’s been going to school ever since. He’s so smart, and I’m so proud of him … he keeps getting better and better at school.” — Jackie Comminello, Community College of Denver

“Reach for More”

“My identity in my house, ’cause I come from a big family, is ‘The one that goes to college. The one that’s trying to do something for her life.’ My brother’s the one with the three kids who lives with us. My other sister’s the single mother raising two kids on her own. My other sister’s only 19 with a one-year-old son. The other one is working in food services, the same job like my mothter. Everybody looks at me. They’re proud of me. Just to know that somebody is proud of you makes you reach even more.” — Aileen Rosario, Montclair State University