“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
Being a first generation college student is not an easy task. It also seems that it is not an unusual task. First generation students flood our campus here at Washington State. With about 40% of the freshmen class being first generation, it is our responsibility as a university to help guide and mentor those students.
I have chosen to base my blog on first generation students here at Washington State’s campus. I selected it because it directly applies to my life since I am the first in my family to be attending a university. Being a first gen student and working along side first generation students, is something I am very passionate about. I have had the amazing honor of being awarded a scholarship here at WSU called First Scholars which is a first generation program. We do all sorts of things like run a mentor program, community service projects, and so on. I have also had the opportunity to be the Student Coordinator for a program called Lead the Legacy which is for first generation freshmen who live in the Gannon Goldsworthy Residence Hall.
I plan on taking original photos at the events that I put on for Lead the Legacy and at the events that are held through First Scholars. One plan I am really excited for for this semester is recording a minute of every day throughout the rest of the year telling a story of what a semester in the shoes of a first generation college student looks like. This will be my final video project. Another idea I have is to record a “What You Wish You Knew” advice recording from multiple first generation students. Finding first generation students to help me won’t be difficult because I work alongside students who are first gen every day.
Some inspiration I have found for this project are from various websites, blogs, and social media platforms.
The first one is from http://www.imfirst.org/#! which is a website that has a really cool set up. I like the lay out of this website, it also includes different stories from students talking about their different experiences.
The second one is the #firstgeneration on Instagram. I have this pinned to my account and it helps me explore different photo opportunities that I can try and also gave me ideas on new things that would be cool to do. It also shows First Generation all around the world, people who are traveling, people who are just graduating, people who are just getting accepted. This will be really helpful with the first project which is when I want to make a design project that shows all the different types of things first generation college students can do, showing nothing is out of their reach.
The third is a blog, http://project1stgen.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html, where students write about their experiences about being at a university. It includes going into the office of admission for the first time, moving into their residence halls their freshman year, and a lot of other experiences.