What students wish their parents/family knew


Don Rodriguez reflects on the many gifts his parents provided their children, starting with an unshakable sense of confidence that they would be able to achieve their dreams.


Gifts to a son (click to play)

Dr. Don Rodriguez, Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management











What do FirstGen students say they wish their parents and family members knew?


  • Many FG students see college and graduate school as a way to bring honor and long-term financial stability to their families.


  • FG students often pursue higher education because they value their cultural roots and they want to give back to their family and community.


  • Your student may sometimes feel guilty about not being able to spend enough time with the family because of school work.


  • We asked CI students what they wished their family members knew about their college life. This is what they said:
    • “It’s NOT like the movies.”
    • “Although we sometimes don’t show it, we are STRESSED!”
    • “That classes and workload is NOT like high school.”
    • “That before college, I had no prior knowledge of the college experience. There was no guidance or guide map of what to expect. However, I understand that it is hard on the parents as much as it is on the students.”
    • “FERPA” (FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Information about it can be found here.)
    • “Yes, college is challenging, but it can be done.”
    • “I have no life. Stressful – Time consuming.”
    • “Not everyone gets the same financial aid award.”
    • “That it’s super hard to balance all the responsibilities but it’s worth it when they see us walk across the stage and get our degree.”
    • “That anyone can do it! Their support matters, A LOT.”