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Category Stories: First Generation

  • Some Thoughts on the Unexpected Benefits of Traveling Solo

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    Some Thoughts on the Unexpected Benefits of Traveling Solo

    Traveling During the six-week Easter break afforded to me at Oxford, I accomplished some travel. This was about a month and a half’s worth, most of it alone, as I took trains around the South of France and Alpine Austria, did a pilgrimage to Lourdes, and spent a frankly unnecessarily long time in Bordeaux. There’s something to…

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  • Exploring My Mexican Identity in México: Part II

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    Exploring My Mexican Identity in México: Part II

    “Cuando la ire a ver?” “When will I see her again?” my grandmother says with such despair as tears gather in her eyes. She’s holding my phone, looking at a photo of my mom. They haven’t seen each other, hugged each other, or held each other in 20 years. “No, creo que ya no la…

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  • How to Reset While Abroad

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    How to Reset While Abroad

    As I passed the two-month marker of my semester abroad, I entered a rut: one that can only be described as complacency. I had become complacent with a schedule that did not leave me excited to leave my bed. I went to classes and paid very minimal attention, if any. I just went through the…

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  • How being a first-generation college student pushed me to study abroad

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    How being a first-generation college student pushed me to study abroad

    When the world was thirty-three years younger than it is now, my dad graduated high school with his head somewhere in the clouds, because that was the best place to find the kind of birds he was looking for. Gray ones, camo ones, with bodies that were built not grown, stomachs that guzzled gas not…

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  • Myth Busters: Study Abroad Edition

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    Myth Busters: Study Abroad Edition

    Myth Busters: Study Abroad Edition You may think you know what it takes to be able to study abroad during your undergraduate college career. You may also think you know that studying abroad isn’t possible for you. You may be wrong. I chose Franklin & Marshall College for two reasons: the research opportunities and the…

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  • Finding a Faith Community in a Secular Country

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    Finding a Faith Community in a Secular Country

    If you’re like me, you spend an awful lot of time worrying about the state of your immortal soul. And as a first-generation college student—at that, one whose parents had never left the country—it was a source of some anxiety for me, whether I’d be able to practice my religion to a sufficiently neurotic extent…

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  • Somewhere In the Rainbow: Celebrating Pride in Wellington

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    Somewhere In the Rainbow: Celebrating Pride in Wellington

    It’s my first year of college, and I’m sitting on the floor in my room making friendship bracelets, because I never grew out of making friendship bracelets (and honestly, I probably never will). I can’t do anything too fancy, three colors being the maximum number of colors I can work with, but that’s perfect for…

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  • First Generation Abroad

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    First Generation Abroad

    Is it Possible? It had always been a dream of mine to study abroad every since my older brother did so in Beijing. I was obviously stressed out about how I could possibly afford it. I searched my college’s financial assistance websites and applied for all the scholarships I could find. I also, applied for…

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  • Home Away from Home

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    Home Away from Home

    Being a first-generation student in my family, and certainly the first to study abroad, my arrival in Scotland came with many mixed feelings of excitement, anxiety and pure displacement. After orientation in Edinburgh I was taken to my apartment, generously under the direction of the IFSA staff, who also gave me a wonderful initial tour…

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  • Bipolar Abroad

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    Bipolar Abroad

    College life presents many challenges, but for those students dealing with mental illness, it can seem like an insurmountable task at times. I speak from experience, as I cope daily with bipolar II, which is a manic-depressive mood disorder. Managing bipolar disorder while studying abroad can seem even more insurmountable, but with the right preparation…

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