Garfield Senior High School

The stress and pressure of first generation students

Most people, including me, feel lucky for being first generation. We feel grateful because we get to have the opportunities that our parents didn’t have; our parents fought and struggled for us in order to give us those opportunities and a better future.

Although we are very grateful, some of us also feel a lot of pressure and stress. We all know that our parents want the best for us and that they don’t want to see us struggle like they did, that’s why they push us to do our best.

All our parents expect us to do our best but it feels like since we are first generation students, they expect more from us than anybody else. At this point, first generation students can feel so much weight on their shoulders.

The reason why parents pressure first generation children more is because they want them to take advantage of the opportunities and possibilities that they didn’t have. They want us to become something they never could but always dreamed about. But what most parents want for their first-generation children is a good career with better pay. In fact, that’s every parent’s dream. How do I know this? I know this because of the constant talks and arguments I have with my parents and all those constant discussions and pressure of going to college is something most first generation students face, which can have a negative effect.

Nowadays most first generation students are not thinking about doing their best so that they can go to a good college to have a better future, instead all they can think about is that they have to go to college to make their parents proud or because their parents want them to.

So that’s the problem, first-generation students grow up knowing that they have to go to college because they hear it everywhere. As first generation students, we hear it so much from our parents and schools to the point that we’ve become immune to it. Unfortunately, it causes most of us to not have any motivation to go to college at all other than because we have to or because of it’s financial benefits. Many more keep telling us to go to college but we’ve heard it enough that it just doesn’t incite or inspire us like it used to. We should be able to go to college because we want to make a change in our lives or the world, not because we are being pressured into going.

1 Comment

  • Reply Spencer Hodson October 20, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I totally agree that we feel pressured to go to the college that our parents want us to go to instead of our choice. I too am a first generation child, and I feel more pressured to get into a certain school than my other 2 sisters. I am afraid that they will be disappointed in me if I don’t achieve what they want for me. I’m currently a senior and all I want to do is enjoy my senior year before I take off for college, but my parents keep stressing me with AP Classes, SAT tests, grades, extracurricular activities and more. Because of this, I have found little enjoyment in one of the most exciting years of my life.


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