Finding Comfort in Discomfort: On Being a First Generation College

I am the first member of my family to attend a university. Though I feel incredibly privileged to be able to expand my knowledge through higher education, I can’t say that my journey has always been easy. Most of my family began their adult lives by enlisting in the military. My dad, who I have always thought of as my biggest role model, will be nearing the end of his career, after 23 years of service, as I am just begin mine. In my second to last semester of my undergraduate career, I am flooded with emotions as I reflect on my unique college experience. In just four short years, I have completely transformed. I have (maybe not always so confidently) walked toward the edges and out of my comfort zone and have transforming what I imagine a successful person to look like (as the daughter of a lifelong service member). Seeking out a university, a major, and organizations that push me to actively discuss the status quo, rather than just accept it, has created a lasting impact on how I view the world and my position in it. By sharing my experience at the intersection of being a firs generation college student and from a military family through this project, I hope to speak about the power of democratic spaces on my university campus and how they have made by journey down an unbeaten path one of the most enlightening and important experiences of my life.