Stepping on to a college campus for what is supposed to be “the best four years of your life” can be exciting for some students. However, a new routine and unfamiliar surroundings can be as scary for a student as it is for a parent who is having a hard time letting go.
Roxanne Salazar, psychology senior, said she wishes her parents understood the pressure of balancing the different aspects of college.
“I just kind of wish they knew the pressure sometimes, because when we get here we’re so young,” Salazar said. “We still don’t even know what we want, we don’t know what we’re doing and within these four years you need to figure out your career, get involved, have a good GPA and also figure out how to be independent.”
Nydia Mejia, fashion merchandising freshman, said her introverted personality has made an impact in her social life in college.
“My parents would always tell me, ‘you’ll make friends easily,” Mejia said. “They think college is going to be easy if you just study and stuff but even when you do study some things just don’t go through your brain.”
Alfonso Haro, electrical engineering sophomore, said college has always been in sight.
Although he is not the first of his siblings to attend college, he is the first to attend college in the United States.
Haro’s family is from Mexico, where his two older siblings pursued higher education.
“The only difference is this is not their country so they kind of felt like they couldn’t help me as much, so they knew that they wanted me to go to college but it was going to be hard,” Haro said. “Things worked out and I’m here.”
Like many first-generation college students, Haro had to figure out the necessary steps to take in order to pursue his career alone, since his parents and siblings were not able to be guides.
“Whatever I needed, they were there, but they didn’t really know what steps or processes to take,” Haro said. “All the applications I took care of by myself; financial aid I took care of by myself, but if I needed like last minute money, they were there. They were always supportive.”
Haro said he would like his parents to know it’s okay to trust him even though he is experiencing a large amount of freedom in school.
Haro said he’d advise students to share their college experiences with their parents to have a closer relationship.
“Students should really approach their parents and show them what kind of things they’re doing.” Haro said. “Maybe it’s something really crazy you did in computer science or art and maybe from there start getting them interested in what you’re doing.”