Recently I discovered the importance of the word “no”. It’s such a simple word that surprisingly becomes very difficult to use as you get older. More specifically, the word “no” adopts an air of forbiddenness if you are a person who tends to consider the feelings of others before your own.
For as long as I can remember, every part of my life had a plan to be followed. From home life to education, it always felt like every minute of my time was already accounted for. As a first generation American, I always felt an immense amount of pressure to stay on course. Whatever you do, don’t deviate from the plan because you’re lucky to even have one in the first place. But what happens when you stray off of the beaten path, and start making decisions that aren’t pre-approved?
We first-generation students are rarely ever “one trick ponies”. More often than not, we find ourselves having our hands in many pots: school, extracurricular activities, jobs, maintaining a social life, etc.
As a first generation student, it can be easy to get caught up in making everyone proud. The
parent(s) who made endless sacrifices, the family back home who didn’t have the opportunity to
come to the U.S, the teachers and counselors who advocated for you and believed in your
abilities, etc. There are so many people who ultimately contribute to the professional you end up
becoming. After all, the quote “it takes a village” isn’t famous for nothing.
This month marks two years since COVID-19 changed all of our lives forever. From keeping up with a fast-paced lifestyle to being forced to stay at home for months on end, the pandemic forced many of us to slow down and take a huge pause in our lives. Those of us who had the
privilege of staying home during the peak of infection, were subjected to a heightened new reality: the social media reality. Even prior to the pandemic, social media still played a major role in all of our lives.
Medical student and columnist Emely Rodriguez has joined the Vinco Team to write about her experiences as a first-generation college student and to provide advice to those navigating the process.