Ever since I was a kid, my parents never stressed to me enough how important my education was. My mother is a fully Sicilian woman with an immigrant father and American-Sicilian mother, while my father is one quarter German, the rest being from Northern Italy – though, they’ve been in this country for much longer. My mother’s father came to the states in the 1960s, so growing up, she learned both Italian and English at the same time, occasionally making her run into some difficulties.
Both my mother and father were the first people to go away to school in their respective families. My father went away to Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, while my mother commuted to Seton Hall. They both eventually transferred to Fairleigh Dickenson University their third year, where they eventually met.
On my mother’s side, only the women went off to earn a higher education at a college level. However, they weren’t allowed to go away to college – all three women, including my mother and her two cousins, commuted and worked their way through four years of college. Years later, all three have gone to graduate school, my mother being a teacher and Behaviorist.
These three women are the three I look up to the most in my family, my father included, but it was much easier for him to go off to school. However, I was the first woman to go away to college. I live in northern New Jersey and go to school in central, right by the beach. It’s the first time I’ve been away from home for so long, but, I do love it here. Even still, I have a lot of pressure on my shoulders. My mom and my two aunts all have teaching, psychology, and advertising degrees. Me? I’m a science major. My major is a combination of Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, and Biology. As a career, I can check water samples to see what sort of microbes and microorganisms are held within, work in cosmetics, or look at pap smeares to determine your health or the possibility for cancerous cells and entities.
But, it’s a lot of work. So, while I’m already the first woman in my family to go away – I’ve also chosen the hardest major out of everyone in my family so far. My father, by the way, has a Business degree since he runs a stained-glass shop, where he does installations for all of his customers.
For those of you wondering, if you haven’t gone off to school yet – every single major is difficult in different aspects, but with scientific and mathematical degrees, you have to take nearly every section of the science fields. The only class I don’t have to take is Physics – which, by the way, I am horrendous at. But, the three I am taking do go hand in hand a good portion of the time. So, will college be hard? Of course! But, it’s never impossible. It really comes down to time management and figuring out how much for each class you need to study – only you know how much you need. And I’m sure not all of you are going to have the same sort of pressures as everyone else – some of you will be commuting or working in order to afford your degree, while others are getting a near free ride. And that’s okay! At the end, when you have a job and a way to pay off your loans and other miscellaneous debts, it’ll all be worth all of the effort you put in to get to that point. If you are the first in your family to go away to college like I am, then don't be worried! It's a great experience and you'll be able to tell your kids wonderful stories about it some day.