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2014

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

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Full-Text Articles in Creative Writing

A Routine, A Life, Miriam Vega Sep 2014

A Routine, A Life, Miriam Vega

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Parental sacrifice is a reality author Miriam Vega knows much about. In her personal narrative, Vega brings forth a concept very few acknowledge, i.e., the cost of responsibility and its future effect on children. At a young age, Vega was charged with taking care of very young siblings, while her parents worked most of the day. She feels guilty about wanting a better life for herself because she acknowledges and appreciates her parents’ sacrifices. Growing up in a family where the “importance of work . . . [became] more of a survival tool than an art of success,” by the end of ...


For Them, Oscar Pineda Sep 2014

For Them, Oscar Pineda

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

In his narrative, author Oscar Pineda delves into the concept of the American Dream. When the narrative opens, Oscar finds himself sitting on a plastic chair the day of his graduation, realizing that his life has been the result of parental nurture, devotion, and hardship. With family as his drive for success, Oscar soon realizes that his own American Dream “is for them,” the people that supported him through high school.


One Day, It'll Pay Off, Valeria Pereira Sep 2014

One Day, It'll Pay Off, Valeria Pereira

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Change has an unsettling power that can scare most individuals. For those who commute between different environments on a daily basis, change may range from “seeing a pregnant mother pushing a stroller with a five year old by her side, [to seeing] a white lady jogging, with a white, well-groomed poodle by her side.” Change means difference, and for author Valeria Pereira, change comes in the form of different socio-economic environments. Between attending an expensive private school and living in Lennox, CA, Pereira learned the significance of dissimilarity. It was that experience, however, that aided her in overcoming her educational ...


Bitter Sweet, Valerie Nario Sep 2014

Bitter Sweet, Valerie Nario

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

First-generation college student Valerie Nario narrates her struggle to finance her education and her determination to attend the school of her dreams at all costs.


I'M Possible, Aszanee Laws Sep 2014

I'M Possible, Aszanee Laws

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Always seen as the “smart one” by her family, Aszanee Laws is heavily pressured into attending college, which results in a disastrous fail. She drops out with the hopes of being famous, but with no effort or dedication, she sits hopelessly wishing for a miracle, lost and alone in a sea of choices. Coming face to face with herself, Aszanee makes a decision that will change her life forever.


I'Ll Be Your Friend, Min-Jung Kim Sep 2014

I'Ll Be Your Friend, Min-Jung Kim

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

In this piece, Min-Jung Kim chronicles her struggles as a young Korean-American girl trying to pursue her American Dream to be the first-generation college student in her family.


The Unseen And Unheard: Details Of A True Love Story, Gabriela Hassan Sep 2014

The Unseen And Unheard: Details Of A True Love Story, Gabriela Hassan

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

A real-life love story: Gabriela Hassan writes about the challenges of balancing her romantic relationship and college life. Her story presents an overwhelming range of emotion and high levels of expectations and demands from her loved ones. As Gabriela’s time at Loyola Marymount University comes to an end, and her adult responsibilities begin to merge in, her world may appear much more chaotic and stressful than the typical college student. With the continuous presence of love and support, however, her happiness is at an all-time high.


The Problem With Wanting To Grow Up Too Fast, Jasmin Gomez Sep 2014

The Problem With Wanting To Grow Up Too Fast, Jasmin Gomez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

During her junior year of high school, Jasmin Gomez faces a situation most teenagers in her neighborhood of South Los Angeles do: teen pregnancy. The statistics are against Jasmin, but she is determined to tackle motherhood and college life without sacrificing either. Balancing an on-campus job, academics, social life, and a toddler, Jasmin proves that teen pregnancy statistics and television show stereotypes are not relevant to all teenage mothers.


"I'Ve Been Sucked Into American Culture And Look What It's Done To Me!:" The Charms Of Living In The Shadows And The Closet, Diana Sofia Delgado Cornejo Sep 2014

"I'Ve Been Sucked Into American Culture And Look What It's Done To Me!:" The Charms Of Living In The Shadows And The Closet, Diana Sofia Delgado Cornejo

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Brought to the US from Peru as a young child, Diana Delgado discovers that she is fated to be ni de aqui ni de alla¸ neither from here nor there, eternally straddling two worlds. As her family’s legal status hangs in the balance, Diana struggles to grow up juggling the dichotomies between class, culture, and sexuality, eventually caught between coming out of the shadows to her friends, and coming out of the closet to her family. As her high school career draws to a close, she is forced out of both secrets in the worst way possible.


I Did It, Marisa Cervantes Sep 2014

I Did It, Marisa Cervantes

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Balancing between being one of the boys and a lady, Marisa Cervantes writes about the challenge that personal relationships, family, and insecurities pose in relation to education. Despite feeling guilty about leaving her high school boyfriend behind, Marisa comes to recognize the importance of letting go of the familiar. By embracing the new challenges of being a first-generation college student, Marisa soon realizes that her future has much in store.


Fire Within, Anonymous Apr 2014

Fire Within, Anonymous

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

I've always had a dilemma with being "The Good Daughter." I still do. Much of my first-generation experience has revolved around sacrificing myself for those who sacrificed themselves for me. For my success. I, however, at times, desire to be free. To chose what I see fit. To choose what I think I love. To have pride. To have the pride to ignite my fire within. I see pride, and I have attained it. But for myself, for others.


Don't Let It Sink, Anonymous Apr 2014

Don't Let It Sink, Anonymous

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

I trip, I fall, and then I pick myself back up again. This has become a daily routine for someone like me. There are days when the easiest thing to do is give up--plain and simple. But, as I tease with the idea, something always turns me, aligns me, back on track. No one said a journey was easy. No one said an ocean calm. After all, "a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


Personal Statement, Alvaro Gonzalez Apr 2014

Personal Statement, Alvaro Gonzalez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

The art of a well crafted Personal Statement.


A Quasi-Prose, Quasi-Spoken Word About The Mullings Of A First Gen Girl, Diana Delgado Apr 2014

A Quasi-Prose, Quasi-Spoken Word About The Mullings Of A First Gen Girl, Diana Delgado

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

There are many types of first generation students. I happen to be of the immigrant sort, with parents that have degrees that mean very little on this soil. The "kingdom of the lingua franca" mentioned—the land of English—was very difficult to navigate without first conquering the language, but even afterwards there are some immovable disadvantages. You'll find rich Peruvian references in this piece—Manco Cápac, the founder of one of the longest lasting Inca dynasties, referred to himself as “the son of the sun”; since the sun was a god, Inti, this gave him and succeeding rulers ...


Natural Resources, Chris Rodriguez Apr 2014

Natural Resources, Chris Rodriguez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

This poem describes the imposter syndrome I had to struggle through as a first-gen student. There are so many extraneous distractions and worries that can lead us astray, make us feel overwhelmed and useless, at least in my case, and I still do get distracted sometimes, but that just takes time away from my day’s study time. I recall my studies at the university bringing up social justice issues and grim histories that I could do nothing but learn about, and it seemed as if the only control I had over my life was to look down upon it ...


Your Path Versus Mine, Genesis Montalvo Apr 2014

Your Path Versus Mine, Genesis Montalvo

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

This poem uses fairytale references to show the differences between first-gen college students and those whose parents have gone to college.


To Be Where You Are, Genesis Montalvo Apr 2014

To Be Where You Are, Genesis Montalvo

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

This piece is about my leave of absence that I had to take last spring for financial reasons, which I think most first-gen students can relate to because finances get difficult for us.


#Lifeofamuslimfeminist, Nadia Kelifa Apr 2014

#Lifeofamuslimfeminist, Nadia Kelifa

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Navigating post-9/11 era America as a young Black Muslim woman, I have found my own little niche within the world of the intersectionality. As the daughter of immigrants and a first generation college student, I believe all that (through a traditional lens) further marginalizes me is precisely why I have such a deep appreciation for diversity. There is nothing simple about the complexities of identity politics and Noorulann Shahid's "Life Of Muslim Feminist" Twitter trending topic sparked a critical conversation on the topic globally, which later inspired me to write this poem.


The Lookout, Morika Fields Apr 2014

The Lookout, Morika Fields

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

I presented this piece for the first time at the First-Gen Cafe. There is an older, more experience voice in the poem that is speaking to the reader. However, this is actually me speaking to myself. It reflects that first-gen college students often have to be their own guide. The poem also expresses my desire to help other students who are not as far along on their paths as I am.


Ted Fields, Sr., Morika Fields Apr 2014

Ted Fields, Sr., Morika Fields

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

This poem is about the life of my late grandfather who encouraged me every time we spoke. He urged me to continue in school saying, "The more degrees you have after your name, the better." I can't reflect upon my college experience without recognizing his influence.


White Boy, Anonymous Apr 2014

White Boy, Anonymous

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

This piece represents the difference between race and environment coming from my perspective as a first-gen college student.


Life Is Very Much Like A Storm, Anonymous Apr 2014

Life Is Very Much Like A Storm, Anonymous

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

A day in the life of a first gen student.


I'M On The Right Track, Guadalupe Mejia Apr 2014

I'M On The Right Track, Guadalupe Mejia

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Being a first generation college student meant that sometimes I would feel confused and lost among the swarm of information being thrown at me. This piece shows how necessary it is to keep a positive outlook and to learn to rely on the support that you receive, whether from parents or from within. This is my first-gen experience.


Click, Alvaro Gonzalez Apr 2014

Click, Alvaro Gonzalez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

Hope is out of our hands. One can hope immensely, but the simple act of hoping is rooted in a feeling of helplessness. This short story is a play on desperation and hope. It brings to life the feelings of desperation I felt as a first-gen student my first year. Being free to imagine a world of my choosing. Going into places of happiness within my mind when happiness couldn't physically manifest itself for me. The feeling of not being able to control your own life, where its going, and where you want it to be. Luckily I wasn ...


Nadie: A Modern Rapunzel Story, Diana Delgado Apr 2014

Nadie: A Modern Rapunzel Story, Diana Delgado

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

The play explores the emerging identity of “Undocuqueer”—the intersection of undocumented immigrants and LGBTQ people-- as we follow Nadia's upward journey to being the first in her family to attend a US university. Like many young kids in her situation, Nadia is a classic ni de aqui ni de alla, straddling two vastly different social classes, two nationalistic allegiances, two cultures and is eventually caught between the two women she cares about the most.


Mi Tierra Natal, Anonymous Apr 2014

Mi Tierra Natal, Anonymous

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

My father has an overarching influence on me. It has, for as long as I can remember, been my goal to make him proud of me. I'm not sure if I have, I am not sure if haven't, but one thing is for certain, he has and will always continue being my motivation. He, along with my mother, are my reason to continue on with this concept of "pushing forward." They are the defintion of my first-gen expereince, but I think it's important for me to understand their experiences and how they have shaped mine. This is ...


Higher Education, Anonymous Apr 2014

Higher Education, Anonymous

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

This is literally my story of attending LMU as a first-gen college student. It includes what it took for me to get here as well as the struggles that I still face. I am still writing this essay as I live it, but I am glad that I had a chance to reflect on where I have come so far.


Hasty Journaling On A Badass Little Old Lady's Computer, Anonymous Apr 2014

Hasty Journaling On A Badass Little Old Lady's Computer, Anonymous

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

AB Trip Tucson/East LA 2014 was heartwrenching for this writer. The trip focused on immigration, particularly on the plights of the people affected by the militarization of the border. The writer is undocumented his/herself, and for this reason would prefer to keep his/her identity en cachette.


Vision: The Blind Steps Of A First-Generation College Student, Adrian Vazquez Apr 2014

Vision: The Blind Steps Of A First-Generation College Student, Adrian Vazquez

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

It is difficult to pinpoint or isolate specific events in a person’s life and say, “There, that is what caused this to happen--that’s what’s shaped him in to who he is.” Often it is a series of sometimes unrelated events that mold and shape an individual into who he or she is. This is such an account. It is a narrative of my journey describing some of the twists and turns, the good times and the bad leading up to my acceptance into LMU and the beginning of my new life.


The Interweaving Of Metaphor: Writing And Crocheting, Jennifer Ellspermann Apr 2014

The Interweaving Of Metaphor: Writing And Crocheting, Jennifer Ellspermann

First-Gen Voices: Creative and Critical Narratives on the First-Generation College Experience

As part of my personal development, I found that attending LMU helped me to better understand my multiple identities. How do you define a half Mexican/half Caucasian female who is a fraternal twin and had a Catholic school upbringing? I have found that my family, educational background, and creative writing has helped me to express the excitement, frustrations, and expectations of being the first in my family to obtain a university degree.