First-generation college students are the first in their families to go to college. That means we are learning through our lived experiences rather than advice from our parents. It sort of means that we get thrown into things without knowing how to maneuver them.
Our lived experiences aren’t defined by the red tape, the struggles, or the never-ending imposter syndrome, instead they are defined by our resiliency. We are the first, but not the last by being trailblazers for our communities back home. We are motivated by that imposter syndrome to be the best we can be.
That’s been my motivation the past four years during my time at UF. I’m earning this degree for myself and for my family. It’s the same motivation helping me in the ever-so-scary job search the past couple of weeks. Now it’s time for a new experience that my family can’t help me with – and that’s okay.
Graduating is scary for so many reasons because you no longer know what the next four years look like. It’s even scarier when you’re about to enter the job market during a pandemic and national emergency. Uncertainty is scary and it’s perfectly normal to be scared. Remember, it’s okay to be scared! But also remember that you are not alone. You have everyone in MFOS (including me!) to help you. It’s the same people that are helping me get through it right now too.
Some good news is that I just finished the second-round interview for a job in my dream organization! However, I don’t have an answer yet, which means that uncertainty is still there. All I can do is continue to search for jobs, write those cover letters, and nail those interviews. There is so much uncertainty in the world in terms of post-grad plans, but there are two things I am certain about: I will keep working hard to achieve my goals and MFOS will do whatever they can to help me achieve those goals.
It takes a village and I’m thankful for my MFOS village that has been there for me since I first started at UF. While I won’t be walking across that stage May 1, I will be walking that stage come August. That’s another thing I’m certain about.
-Cindy Jara, 4th Year Public Relations Major
Class of 2020