Students that enter the academy as first generation college students typically grow up in communities where degrees from institutions of higher education are not prevalent. This means that while they may be raised with deeply loving relationships, they are also likely raised in environments that do not understand or embrace the culture of higher education. This can pose great conflict for the student that is from this environment and trying to excel with his or her college studies.
I personally made a transition of this sort and distinctly remember absorbing the ideas and language of higher education and carrying them back to my support structures with an eager enthusiasm. I was often surprised to find them held in suspicion and sometimes ridiculed. I eventually started censoring my conversations to avoid the awkwardness and occasional conflict.
This poses a challenge for first generation students that is often overlooked. They are not only dealing with a lack of support, but often an unconscious discouragement from the very people who love them most.
Q: How can we as institutions/individuals mitigate this conflict for our first generation students?