Jessica Farmer, 1GLI
I did not start to identify as 1G/LI until after earning my master’s degree. Although I was aware of the differences between my peers and I during my undergraduate career, the set of unique challenges associated with being 1G/LI was completely lost on me - let alone the idea of seeking support for those challenges. I currently process what parts of my experience during college were related to being 1G/LI. For example, I graduated a full year behind my peers because I skipped two semesters. At the time I was overwhelmed by college (which led to embarrassment for quite some time) and could benefit from working full time for a bit, so I did. I wish that early in my college career someone would have educated me about 1G/LI students, helped me identify as one, and then connected me to resources that would provide support. Gratefully, I have parents who held the strong expectation that their children would earn bachelor’s degrees. This shaped the educational expectations I held for myself and fueled my tenacity to overcome the challenges I encountered. It does not have to be a parent or even a family member, but you need people in your circle who support the expectations you have for yourself. If no one comes to mind, make a new friend! If you identify as 1G/LI, prioritize connecting with others in this community who can support you. Finding support is powerful!