Home Topics in Depth Education are you 1st generation to attend college?

  • Skeeter Barnes (125 posts)
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    are you 1st generation to attend college?

    I am. Sometimes I get a reaction of “really?” from co-workers.

    To my family I am the one who made it.

     

    To others I am almost like some kind of charity project with a family from the pre-historic era.

     

    sometimes it gets old on both sides.

     

     

    AnneD, MistaP, Haikugal and 2 othersPennLawyer, FanBoy like this
    Still with BERNIE!  The only one that I trust to be with the people and FOR the people - not his career or himself.  

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14 replies
  • Rod Beauvex (296 posts)
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    1. 30 here.

    No college. One of the few bullets I managed to dodge, not that I had any real options or opportunities for anything after high school.

    • PennLawyer (1564 posts)
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      2. You have the potential and a lifetime ahead of you.

      I say you have the potential (reasoning and communication skills), having read your earlier posts.

      I didn’t finish my bachelor’s degree (night school/part-time) until I was 34.  Started law school at age 40.  Found my passion in life, scuba diving,  at age 60.  I truly believe that learning is a lifelong thing.  Even now,  in my 70’s, I’ve just gotten involved with helping homeless vets, particularly female vets –  am working/volunteering with a local organization and just got asked to be on the advisory board because I’ve been gathering a lot of useful data on the topic by internet research.

      If you have developed skills on your own; have a job or occupation which you like, that is fine.  But if not, indulge in some dreams for the future.  If you are within commuting range of a junior college/community college/branch of a state university – get some career counseling and try taking a course. (Check out Rate My Professors on-line, so you don’t get stuck with a dud professor – with so many colleges/universities relying heavily on adjunct (part-time) faculty, there is a wide range of quality of teaching.)

      I eventually taught courses in the night school program from which I earned my bachelor’s degree, and I made it a point to meet one-on-one with each of my students.  Most were in the 30 to 50 age range, and many expressed some concern if their efforts were worth it, saying a variation of, “I’m only taking 1 (or 2) courses a semester and I’ll be (46/52/whatever) by the time I graduate.  My stock answer was, “Look, you’re going to be (46/52/whatever) in any event.  Would you rather be (insert age) with a degree or without it?”  They always answered, “With it!”

      I know this sounds schmaltzy, but dare to dream.  There’s a character in South Pacific named Bloody Mary, and she sings,

      Happy talk, keep talkin’ happy talk,
      Talk about things you’d like to do.
      You got to have a dream,
      If you don’t have a dream
      How you gonna have a dream come true?
      If you don’t talk happy,
      And you never have dream,
      Then you’ll never have a dream come true!

      I always encouraged my kids to try new things, grab opportunities, etc., with the understanding that they could expect to occasionally fail, but that if you never fail, you’re not exploring your potential.  And that’s all I have to say about that!

       

  • Totally Liberal Dem (1360 posts)
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    3. No, not the first generation to have a degree.

    I am in my late 60’s and both my mother and father had college degrees and both had masters degrees as well.  Both got their bachelors and masters degrees before I was born.  My family has a thing about education…get as much as you can.  Not sure if that is good or bad, but especially for my mother who was born in the mid-1920s, it sure as hell opened a lot of doors for her just because of her degrees.  Unusual for a woman of her generation to have a bachelors…but a masters as well???  In one national insurance company, in the 1950’s they made her the head of an agency in a major city.  First woman in the history of the company to hold any position like this.  In the late 1960’s a major nationwide manufacturer made her the personnel director in one of its major locations.   It opened a huge number of doors for her…besides she was mega good at whatever she did, extremely intelligent and to top that one — very beautiful and elegant.

    I have a bachelors with a double major, a masters and a juris doctorate.  And I do have to say that at my age that the juris doctorate has really been a plus for a lot of reasons besides being something that I always wanted.  If I want to pick up a few dollars for a splurge on something not in my budget, there is always some attorney or law firm in the L.A. area who wants someone like me to do overflow or trial prep on a large case when the lead attorney is overwhelmed.  Also, I have sat 2nd chair at trials just because sometimes when it  is complicated, there really needs to be another legal mind at counsel table.  I also have done a ton of civil appellate work and I ghost write a lot of briefs because it is technical work to do and I have the background to do it.

    I am very glad I got the education I did, but I have to say that I have met many, many people over my life who did not even had HS diplomas and they were amazingly talented and brilliant in their chosen careers.  So, it is not just the paper that gets you where you want to go.  It helps and in some fields, it is a necessity.  But if you cannot function in the job someone needs or want you to do…forget it.  I have met attys who graduated at the top of their classes at Stanford Law, Bolt, etc….and they SUCK in a courtroom!

     

    THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS HEPBURN!!!! 
    • tk2kewl (1353 posts)
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      4. 2nd generation of college

      2nd generation off the boat

      My grandfather came from Ireland as a teen

      • Totally Liberal Dem (1360 posts)
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        5. It's wonderful what our foreign born grandparents passed on!

        All four of my grandparents were born in central Europe…education was a really big deal for them since their children and grandchildren were native born Americans.  Many immigrants in the 1900’s – 1920’s in order to come to America came at young ages and missed out on having formal educations.  My grandmother learned English from reading her English Bible and comparing it to the one in her native language.

        THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS HEPBURN!!!! 
        • tk2kewl (1353 posts)
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          6. my grandfather shoveled coal for Brooklyn Edison

          eventually became a ConEd plant manager – 5 kids – 4 got at least undergrad degrees

          1937 Brooklyn Edison championship softball team

          jk2kewl is second from left

          • Totally Liberal Dem (1360 posts)
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            7. OMG!

            That is so fabulous!  Great picture.

            I really have a place in my heart for immigrants.  When I hear an accent, I think of my childhood.  EVERYONE around me spoke with an accent.  Not just in my own home, but so many of the people around me — the young kiddos in the 1950s —  had grandparents and parents who had fled Europe due to the War.  Many were Jews with crude numbers tattoed on their wrists.

            THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS HEPBURN!!!! 
  • tularetom (1276 posts)
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    8. Actually I'm damn close to the last

    My dad graduated from Western KY University in 1950 on the GI bill

    I graduated from U. of CA in 1966, same bill.

    My wife attended Oregon State U but didn’t graduate, both my kids went to Cal Poly but neither made it through, but my oldest granddaughter graduated from San Diego State.

    "You might very well think that, I couldn't possibly comment"
  • AnneD (99 posts)
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    9. First Gen here…

    Father joined military to escape poverty of Okla (Dust bowl and Indian territory life). Mom family had more education, but not too sure.

    Got a lot of college in dribs and drabs but very hard for a first gen. Finance was a major issue as was lack of support and guidance. I finally got an ADN in Nursing and worked the heck out of that degree. Would have loved to go on but at some point you realize you know as much as the people teaching you and if you don’t, you know how to access it and learn on your own (it is even easier now with computers). I realized this when I wrote the beginnings of a Master thesis for money. The subject was finance, a topic I had never studied. The student received a high B so except for defending it I guess you could say I have an uncredited Master’s too.

    I am happy to report that my daughter graduated from a highly rated fine arts college with her double major BA and is now an app engineer at the Apple main campus in California. She started out making what it took me 25 to work up to.

    Why am I in this basket and where are those sparks coming from-do you smell smoke?
  • LiberalElite (3167 posts)
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    10. my brother and I – 2nd gen Irish, 1st gen college nt

    I feel much better since I've given up hope
  • Ed Suspicious (160 posts)
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    11. My parents attended briefly in the 1980s. I'll represent the first

    the first generation to earn degree.  I am in my final part time year earning a my B.A. in Political Science (I’ve completed my major requirements, but neglected the foreign language requirement until recently so 3 extra part time semesters have been added to my costly journey).  I made sure to grab my associates degree in letters and science along the way, making me the first in my family to have such a nice wall decoration. I’m feeling very discouraged that after all that time, I seem to have failed to figure out what I want/am qualified to do professionally once I graduate this spring. Much more guidance was necessary for this non-traditional student. I keep hearing “grad school” or “law school”  is the way to go.  I guess, but not until I work a few years and earn some kind of money so that my wife doesn’t want to boot me from a moving car after making them sacrifice for my education only for me to wind up in a job not aligned with my degree that pays as much as a high school grad earns.

    I’m a little down of the choice to go to school in my late 30s/now early 40s.  I thought college was the way out and up, but I still don’t see how.  At least before I could find comfort in the idea that if I worked hard and went to college, I could figure this shit out.  Now that illusion seems to have slipped away.

  • happyslug (83 posts)
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    12. I was the first generation to attend high school

    My father had to go to work when he graduated eight grade, that was during the Great Depression.  He served in the U.S. Army, married and had children. He never stopped learning or reading.  A college professor once enter at bar on his postal route and after talking to the people in the bar told my father he was the only one who talked like he attended college.  My Father had to tell the professor he had only graduated eigth grade, the rest of the men in the bar had all attended college.

    I attended graduated high school, college and Law school.   Till the day he died he was always learning and reading.  In many ways his habit of always learning was more important than what I learned in school.  That the fact I am the first generation to go to college is less import than always reading and learning.   Thus I view my education as less important than my habit of always reading and  learning.

  • Cleita (1670 posts)
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    13. I was the first generation to graduate

    high school. Of course that was in 1958. My dad was so proud. He had to go to work after the fifth grade. The fact that I went on to college was dessert to him.

  • jwirr (2072 posts)
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    14. I am the first generation but I and my younger sister graduated together as I

    was 30 at the time. I also ended up using my degree MSW in a far different way than others. By the time I graduated it became very apparent that my severely disabled daughter needed me to care for her in my home after she was abused in an institution. Instead I worked part time when she was at a work shop as an advisor and QMRP<u>.</u>

    I have also lobbied for the people I worked with. Did a whole lot of creating the base for community based living.