My siblings and I were the first in our family to attend college. My parents went to great lengths to make sure we had top-notch preparation in high school. When I arrived to Salisbury University (Maryland) as a first-year student, though, I had to find a new support system, as my parents did not have the experience of living and studying on campus. I think this is where I truly started to become my own person, in the sense that I had to make decisions without the expert guidance of Mom and Dad or the trail-blazing efforts of my older brothers.
Through trial and error, I learned just how supportive faculty and staff are. At least at my school, they wanted to see students succeed, grow, and thrive in all aspects. I am very grateful for their time and energy, and now being a professor myself, I want to support and get to know first-generation students in the same ways.