For this year’s First-Generation Week celebration, we asked students like Nasir Terry to share what it means to be a first-generation student (or First Osprey), how it impacted their college experience and what support they have received since choosing Stockton University.
For Nasir, being first-generation means both finding inspiration and being a source of it for others.
What being a first-generation student means to me is that I’m the first in my lineage to do something. I am the first to set an example for my family members. My younger siblings, cousins and even my future children will see me and say, “He was the first to go to college, and I want to be next.”
The professors and staff here are also the best, like my EOF success coach, Jamal... I have two years left until I graduate, and he helped me realize how resilient I truly am. I have come this far; I just have to keep pushing and thug it out!
Being first-gen has made my college experience a little difficult; I didn’t come in with any expectations because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. There weren’t many people in my life that I could ask, “What should I do?” or “What should I expect from college?”
However, Stockton has been terrific with their resources, most notably the CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) office. They have helped me through a lot of my problems in school and in life in general. The professors and staff here are also the best, like my EOF (Educational Opportunity Fund) success coach, Jamal (Akhtar).
I met with him to explain some things that I was going through to him and some fears I had for this semester, and he gave me some really good advice. He helped me find a good mantra, which is “Just thug it out.”
It sounds simple, but it really helps. I have two years left until I graduate, and he helped me realize how resilient I truly am. I have come this far; I just have to keep pushing and thug it out!
Elevate Your Voice!
Galloway, N.J. – There are three things that students should be focused on during their higher education journey – themselves, their circle and the finish line waiting for them once they earn their degree – according to Michael Spence, first-generation college graduate and keynote speaker at the First to Soar Celebration on Nov. 7
“For all of us in here, we're going down the path that no one in our family has ever gone down, and sometimes, it's probably one of the hardest things to go through,” Spence told the audience of first-generation students at Stockton. “See, it's easy to walk in someone else's footprints, but how about walking footprints that were never laid out for you? How do I make this journey that I got sent out to do and that I wanted people before me to do? I’m here to tell you that that pressure could either burst pipes or turn into diamonds, but it’s all about what you’re made of. I’m here to tell you that this journey here is not here to burst your pipes but to help make you a diamond.”
— Story by Loukaia Taylor