Category Archives: Word Post

“See you around.”

For those who do not know, this blog was created as a quarter project for my Intro to Multimedia class. It started as just that, a graded project, but as the quarter passed and more work was done it didn’t feel like just a grade but it felt like a purpose.

I am so glad that I picked this topic because I have learned so much more and gotten to know more about the amazing students who have been featured.

Every interview that I did I was able to have conversations as how I related. It’s not surprising because I am also a first-generation student but it was so interesting to have very similar stories!

The good about blogging has been that it has been easy to share the posts online. It’s also easy to find online. I don’t know how but people from all over the world have visited this blog at some point. It’s been an awesome experience.


I can’t think of anything bad about blogging. I have really enjoyed it and I’m considering one day becoming a professional blogger.

Over the past three months, “First-Generation” has received over 1,000 visitors! It’s been really great to see that people are getting to know how it is to be a first-generation college student.

The post that has gotten the most views has been “It Starts with a Dream.” Which happens to be one of the most interesting posts I have done. Mostly because it was an event that brought together students from different schools and ages. It reminded me of when I was a high school student and aspired to attend college. The Xicano Youth Conference was a great way to inspire young students to also aspire to attend college.

I have had fun doing this blog but unfortunately since I will be starting a new academic quarter with different courses and more responsibilities I won’t be able to put as much time as I do now. During the next few months I will be brainstorming ideas of how to continue this blog and hope that by the fall I will be posting content again. I also hope that students and anyone interested in the topic will find this blog and use it as a resource and maybe even as motivation.

So it’s not a final end just a “see you around!” Remember, don’t miss out on the video coming up this Thursday!

Comments from peers:

“I love reading this blog, the tone is entertaining and easy to follow. The layout is really creative. This blog is an honest look at what it’s like to be a first-generation college student and it’s really helpful” – Cameron Bones

“You blog looks very clean and professional. It’s super insightful for readers who are first-generation and things they should know to help them succeed. I would like more pictures though!” – Hannah Landry

“It is really cool to learn about how first-generation students cope with new situations. As someone who grew up in a family where college was so engrained into my head as something I had to do because my whole family had, it was interesting to read about the college experience from someone that had the opposite experience.” – Kaylee Bingham

Video Preview: What makes them tick?

From left to right: Michelle Lam, Nick Tuong, Yajaira Perdomo and Alejandra Rosa. Photos by Melissa Nunez.
From left to right: Michelle Lam, Nick Tuong, Yajaira Perdomo and Alejandra Rosa. Photos by Melissa Nunez.

First-generation college students are aspiring for a better future by pursuing a higher education. They are in search for a career that they enjoy and makes them tick.

This has led me to work on a project that I will be busy with this week. I will be posting a video next Thursday that will showcase interviews with four first-generation students who have found a major that suits not only their abilities but also their likes. Each describes what it is about their major that makes them tick.

  • Michelle Lam is a first-year computer science major from Sacramento, Ca. She is fascinated by Computer Science because part of it is like math which she is good at. She enjoys translating for a computer.
  • Nick Tuong is a first-year mechanical engineering major from Los Angeles, Ca. He loves that his major requires him to do “everything.”
  • Alejandra Rosa is a first-year political science major from Firebaugh, Ca. She has her eye on running for a specific political position. Being exposed to agriculture her whole life has led her to gain knowledge that she plans on using in her career.
  • Yajaira Perdomo is a first year mechanical engineering major from Los Angeles, Ca. She likes the drafting part of engineering because it lets her create. She wishes to one day make a change.

Aside from the interviews, the video will also showcase the students in action doing what they like to do! Stay tuned!

Second Home on Campus

In college, it is nice to find your niche.

First-Generation students who attended Summer Institute were introduced to the Cross Cultural Center’s MultiCultural Center during a tour of Cal Poly’s University Union and since the first week of fall quarter it has been the go-to place. It is their niche. The MCC is a very convenient place to study, socialize, sleep, eat, have meetings and has access to computers and free printing.

Why would anyone want to leave?

Anyone is welcomed! It’s open to all students. It is a comfortable place to meet people and take a break from the hectic college life.

Did I mention there’s a TV?

Check it out.

7 Reasons First-Gen and Low-Income College Students Should Use Alltuition

Applying to a college is one thing and applying for financial aid is another. It is very important for first-generation students and other low-income students to apply for financial aid because it could be the only source of funding they have to pay for college. Just like the college application the Free Application for Student Aid is tedious. Which is why Alltuition is very helpful and can come in handy to go through that application process. Here are 7 reasons why:

Continue reading 7 Reasons First-Gen and Low-Income College Students Should Use Alltuition

First-Generation College Students Support Group

Support Group rules. Photo by Melissa Nunez.
Support Group rules. Photo by Melissa Nunez.

Merriam Webster defines a support group as, “a group of people who have similar experiences and concerns and who meet in order to provide emotional help, advice, and encouragement for one another.” Cal Poly’s Counseling Services offers support groups for students with different types of concerns. A support group that is offered to students is the “First-Generation College Students Support Group.”

Continue reading First-Generation College Students Support Group

From My Point of View

Visiting Cal Poly SLO. Photo by Virginia Nunez.
Visiting Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Photo by Virginia Nunez.

If you’ve read the “About” section on this blog you know that I myself am a first-generation and low-income college student.

A goal of mine for this blog is to focus on the experiences of other students on each post but this post will be an exception because as a change I will be talking about my experience. I will touch on several past posts and add how I personally relate to the topic.

Continue reading From My Point of View

Time for a Blog Checkup

Nothing is perfect. As a writer I will make mistakes and also beautiful pieces.

This post is different than all the previous ones. It’s a self evaluation of how I’m doing with the blog. I want this blog to be great. There needs to be a maintenance check to keep the ship afloat. In order to do this I gathered comments from my peers to help me find what I could do better and what I am already doing good!


This did not come up in a comment but it’s something that I want to comment on. One thing that I have been going back and forth about doing is changing my theme. The reason for this is that my current theme pushes down the archive and twitter feed all the way to the bottom. But I really like the color scheme and style. I hope to find one that resembles it but has the archive and twitter feed to the side where it is more easy to be seen. Also, one that accepts the size of my header. I made it on Photoshop and I’m pretty proud of it.

Header. Photo by Melissa Nunez

Continue reading Time for a Blog Checkup

Cal Poly Summer Institute

At Avila Beach. Photo by Melissa Nunez.

Going away to college is a big step for anyone. It means shedding out of your comfort zone and being exposed to new surroundings. It hits harder being a first-generation student because our parents are not able to guide us through the process.

First-generation students in the Educational Opportunity Program at Cal Poly are given the opportunity to attend a program called Summer Institute. It usually runs through the end of July to the middle of August. They stay in on-campus apartments, take a General Education course and attend supplemental workshops. The program also includes activities that helps them get familiar with San Luis Obispo. The program is held every summer. This last summer, 89 incoming EOP freshmen got to attend. The 2013 program ran from July 27 – August 20th. This year’s theme was DC superheroes with the motto being “Made of Steel.” The Summer Institute Program Coordinator and Program Assistants are in charge of the program.

“The purpose of Summer Institute is to help out students transition to college,” Jon Diaz, Summer Institute Program Assistant said.

Continue reading Cal Poly Summer Institute

In the Twittersphere


Hello readers!

One thing about me that you do not know is that I am a social media junkie. Twitter is one of the social media sites that I use very often. In the past, my tweets have been random ramblings but now that I am in college my tweets are mainly about my college experience! It’s also somewhere you can get to know me more.

I also post a link to my posts every time I post a new one. You can also see my tweets on the widget on the bottom of the main page of this blog.

Click below to follow me!

Applying For a Future

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Administration Building. Photo by Melissa Nunez.

The college application season is always a busy and nerve wrecking one. Deadline after deadline and essay after essay have to be done. It is a lot of work and responsibility. First-generation students do not have a big help system at home because they are the first in their family to go to college. Unlike second or third generation students, their parents do not know what the application process is like. Which can cause the students to struggle with the application process and have to rely on outside help.

“The college application process can be ambiguous and scary. These students don’t have parents that are helping them read through all the fine print and multiple number of documents and emails that are coming their way,” Maria Arvizu-Rodriguez, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Educational Opportunity Program counselor said.

Q&A with Cal Poly SLO First-Generation Students

  1. How was the college application process like for you?
  2. What was the support and/or resources that you had?
  3. What is your advice for students who will be the first in their family?

Alvaro Perez, First-Year, Aerospace Engineering major

Alvaro Perez. Photo by Melissa Nunez.
  1. “My parents didn’t know there was such thing as going through the college application process. They didn’t know you had to apply for financial aid or just how college works. Once I got acceptance letters my parents tried to convince me to stay in Sacramento. They didn’t understand why I wanted to go five hours away to San Luis Obispo.”
  2. “I was in programs in high school that helped first-generation students apply to college, fill out the applications and the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). My brothers and sisters were a big support. My counselor would have workshops once a week since the beginning of my senior year during a one hour slot time. I didn’t do it at home because I didn’t know what to do, how to write it or what they were actually asking for.”
  3. “Apply everywhere, don’t let the college application process scare you away. Just apply to where you want to go. If you really want to do it, then do it. Look for resources cause there is at least one program that will help first generation students with the application process.”
Magali Silva. Photo by Melissa Nunez

Magali Silva, First-Year, Economics major

  1. “My mom would throw away my college mail. My parents think it’s a waste of time for me to come to college. They think I should be working and supporting them.”
  2. “My avid teacher would make me do my college applications homework style. I started the college application process my junior year and I applied to nine colleges. Family wise the only support I have is my brother, he is the only that wants me to be here. My avid teacher and my brother were my main support.”
  3. “Don’t care about other people’s opinions. It’s your life, you’re going to have to deal with it and they are going to get over it eventually. So if you want to go to college, go to college.”
Rachel Scales. Photo by Melissa Nunez.

Rachel Scales, First-Year, Modern Languages and Literatures major

  1. “I had no idea what made a school a good fit or a bad fit, or how to go about applying for financial aid, or what to do as a major. Like, nobody knows how to do this, and you’re trying to crack the code.”
  2. “I contacted the schools I was interested in, like, ten times a week with questions. A couple of the schools actually started knowing me. For financial aid help, my social worker hooked me up with the Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP) in San Francisco, and they were fantastic. They helped me find scholarships, and they’d go over scholarship essays with me, and they helped me do the FAFSA.”
  3. “Don’t be deterred from applying to certain schools. It’s not as hard to get into schools as you think. I thought I wouldn’t get in to half my schools. Apply to schools you don’t think you’ll get in to. Pretty much every school has fee waivers available, too, so no worries.”

Once the college application season is over, the time comes to choose where to go. These students chose Cal Poly SLO.  The transition can be difficult because it is a very unfamiliar territory.

Arvizu-Rodriguez recommends support programs similar to the Summer Institute program at Cal Poly that provide transition assistant from the minute they are admitted till the end of their first year.

The opportunities and the help is out there for first-generation college students. It is a matter of finding it and doing what is best for them.

Important links for when applying to college: