Our First-Gen Road-Trippers have been booking their interviews and preparing for a summer aboard the Green RV! All four have made education a priority in their lives, and are the first in their families to go to college. We asked each of them to share with us why they think college is so important, and here are their inspiring answers!
In my eyes, college is a chance for me to have a life where I can eat a solid meal every night and not wonder where it comes from. College is a chance for me to give my children a better life than I ever dreamed I could have. It gives me a chance to do what I love for the rest of my life. College is a constant struggle and it builds me up every time I feel myself falling down. It is also a constant reminder of the hope that I have for my future and what I dream to be. I look at the lives of other students who don’t have to work, who don’t know what struggle means, and I make a promise to myself that if I work hard now, my children will be the kids that can go the party if they want to, that can take that extra opportunity if they want. It is my hope that by putting in the work now, my kids in the future can honestly enjoy college. Most importantly for me, I know that college will give me a career where I can afford to sincerely take care of my mother and provide her a life of comfort and ease; college for me is a constant reassurance that she will be alright and we won’t have to struggle anymore.
College is a life-changing experience that has a profound ripple effect. It allows an individual to leverage his/her skills, resources, passion, and talents to serve distinct communities around the world and change the lives of hundreds of people for the better. Not only does it provide an opportunity for intellectual and academic growth, but it facilitates reflection, enlightenment, and perspective. It nurtures and challenges a curious mind as well as supports a passionate individual. It allows a first-generation student from a low-income community, who never thought about attending college before, to use his/her education to empower other first-generation youth to pursue their personal and academic goals. It serves as the door to the world by facilitating individuals to travel, study, and work around the world. It helps a single mother of three to provide a better life for her children by graduating with a triple major. It allows a veteran who was seriously injured in combat to create an organization focused on aiding injured veterans when they return home. It encourages individuality, creative expression, and healthy experimentation in all areas of our lives. Most importantly, it provides a real opportunity to pursue and find our true purpose in life.
College is important because it shows us that we have a choice–that we do not have to conform or settle for the status quo. It reveals that we posses the ability to create a new path for ourselves, families, and communities. A path full of compassion, positivity, and hope; where the ideal “We’re in this together” trumps “You’re on your own.”
It’s true that some, or all of us, experience some type of trouble with the financial aid department. We have anxiety thinking of taking out and repaying student loans, or we may struggle to get that undervalued 2.0 GPA necessary to graduate. But despite the challenges, college is a capstone to life. Just like learning how to use a computer is a prerequisite to using a Facebook account, a college degree is a prerequisite to getting a job. But college is much more important than just getting the degree. At least for me it was. I saw college as an escape route to my future. College brings together our skills and experiences to give us hope–hope that we can achieve some level of success, even if we are lacking skill in some departments. And if you’re looking to be high in the sky, hope along with determination is what you need. College is important because it changes you and the people around you. It makes you the person are. It’s important because it determines and shapes the rest of your life.
I think college is important beyond obvious reasons. We all know that we need to go to college to get an education so we can get a good job and make stable income. But from my first year in college, I met a lot of people who have changed me, even if they don’t realize it. My horizons have broadened and I’ve learned to not be so uptight about some things. I try not to let other people’s lives and opinions affect me like they used to, and that’s honestly the number one thing that has made living a lot more enjoyable. With the hindsight I have now, I wish I could re-live my first year again, just so I could handle it better. I spent a lot of time crying and stressing about grades when I could have just taken a deep breath and made a better grade. Why is college so important? College is important because based on the people you meet and the experiences you go through, it shapes you into the person you’re going to be for the rest of your life. It exposes you to different cultures and ways of life, and I think being open-minded about things is an important part of living. Because if you aren’t learning everyday through experience or someone teaching you about their home or culture or even their favorite author or painter, you aren’t really living. I see a huge difference in people at school and people back home, and the main difference is how open and close-minded they are.
Roadtrip Nation has partnered with the College Board to offer these four first-generation college-going students the opportunity to travel the country in our Green RV. We’re excited for them to hit the road this summer!