For many first generation, Latinx college students, the holidays are a special time. From family gatherings and reunions, parties, posadas, and more, college students are also dreading on having difficult conversations with family members.
Here are some questions you may be asked:
Y como te va en el colegio?
Your family is proud you and want to know how classes are going. While to the family this may seem like a simple question, this is actually a loaded question. Often as first generation college students, many of the obstacles we face, we navigate them on our own. Whether it is because we do not want our family members worrying for us so we do not mention them, or because any bumps may be understood as failures, we tend to avoid answering these questions at all. Let me remind y’all, it is okay to admit you are struggling, sometimes your family can be one of the support systems you need to figure out your problems. This does not have to be an academic struggle either, but your family will appreciate you keeping them in the loop rather than keeping that you are struggling, in the dark.
Y que estas estudiando?
This is a tricky question, not only are you being asked what are you studying, but it also connotes how important of a major you are pursuing. If there is anything first-generation college students know best, it is the weight of wanting to make your family’s dreams come true, this may include putting aside your own passions for their sake. I am here to tell you, do not sacrifice your happiness at the expense of theirs. Your family is proud of you regardless of what you are studying, and while your accomplishments are their accomplishments, they are YOUR accomplishments and you need to invest in an education that is going to make YOU feel fulfilled, not them.
Y cuando te vas a graduar?
Ah, my favorite question. You were just applying to colleges and family members were asking you where you wanted to go, now your family wants to know when you are graduating (aka when will you come back home). While most students take the traditional four-year route, I am here to remind you that if you need to take a fifth year or if your need to take a break from academics and prolong your graduation date, that is normal and it is okay. More often than not, your family will understand, and if they do not, understand that they may not understand that. Yes, the longer you stay in school the more expensive it may be, but sometimes, extra time is needed to get the adequate education you need to be successful in your life.
College is a struggle by itself, but that does not mean you have to struggle by yourself.
For more tips on how to deal with coming home for the holidays check out our podcast woke wise college kids!