I had the first-generation experience coupled with cross-cultural experiences — my entire higher education career happened abroad. I was born in Romania but spent three years at the American University in Bulgaria and then the last two as a transfer student in Holland, Michigan. The journey was amazing and I would not trade it for the world, but the combination of no college guidance from parents (or ability to support me financially) and the newness of living with different cultural experiences also made for challenging moments that I can still remember in detail. I look back on those moments as those where I could have given up, but I did have the wonderful emotional support of parents who were able to see things in perspective and the academic support of professors who knew what I could do and invested in me. So I want to be that person to someone who may need it throughout this journey — it is a journey worth having!
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