Last week I finally got to meet up with some students I've been in touch with over email for a long time. Chris Reynolds first told me about his experience as a first generation college student last May. At the time, he had just finished his first year of college at the University of Michigan and was on his way to Ohio for a prestigious internship.
Reynolds is part of the First Gens at Michigan. There are 3,000 first generation college students at Michigan, about 13% of the student population.
Only a few hundred are involved in First Gens. The group functions an advocacy organization, social space, and support group. At this meeting, students opened up about how the tough parts about the transition to college can be heightened for those who are trailblazers for the families.