University of Oregon, Class of 2022
How do you think being a first generation student has affected your college experience?
I definitely came in with a disadvantage compared to others. I knew nothing about living the college life and I had no one to depend on and help me. For example, I thought I had to visit a main office to schedule office appointments (like in high school) Adjusting was definitely hard. Being a person of color on a white campus was very hard on me mentally as I always felt like an outlier. On the other hand, being a first gen allowed me to meet others like me and share similar stories. It made me proud to express that as part of my identity. Being a first gen allowed me to become friends with very amazing people and for that, I will forever be grateful.
What do you love about U of O?
I love how they really emphasize the usage of pronouns. Prior to coming here, I didn’t even know what pronouns were! But now, I realize how important they are.
How was the experience of starting somewhere new?
As stated above, it was really hard. However, if it was not for my friends and the members of the clubs I joined, I would have not made it out of my first year the person I am today. Due to the support I had, I not only obtained employment at a very competitive job but I also ran (and was awarded) for a club leadership position.
What has been the most impactful experience during your time in college?
Joining a club called Muxeres was the most impactful experience. I was surrounded by women and allies that expressed nothing but bravery, love, and mentorship. This club helped me express my voice and find my place on campus.
If you have ever attended our scholarship brunches, how did those go for you?
They went really nice. I only attended the fall term event because the others did not fit my schedule. However, they were nice because I met other scholars and talked with them about their experience at UO.
What does it mean to you to have been chosen as a Renaissance Scholar?
To me it means an opportunity. Being a renaissance scholar is more than just the money, it is a chance to be a part of an organization that really cares about you. People that look after you and guide you through the winding road that many students face in college. As a low income first gen student, being a renaissance scholar is like my golden ticket to a better life.