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This man revealed the struggle of being a first-generation college student. Between jobs, financial troubles, and judgment from others, he is having a rough time. Luckily, he’s not alone.
Financial Struggles and Aspirations
The original poster, Phil, is on track to become a doctor.
Halfway toward his goal, however, he’s frustrated and not financially well off.
Balancing School and Responsibilities
Phil can’t afford a car, so he takes the bus for an hour to get to school. On top of being a pre-med student, he’s working three part-time jobs.
The Reality of Limited Resources
Despite having multiple jobs, Phil struggles to pay his tuition because he has supported himself and another sibling since one of his parents passed away.
When Reaching Out to Advisors Goes Wrong
One day Phil had a meeting with his advisor that made him uneasy.
He explained to his advisor that he couldn’t afford summer classes and got a “weird look” as a response.
Embracing Your Strength
The advisor suggested Phil take one of his required classes at a community college, which tends to be cheaper than a university. However, Phil couldn’t afford this either and needed help.
A Harsh Reality
“I was so embarrassed to have to explain to her that I can’t pay for it,” Phil said. “It’s just frustrating to have to worry about my family having food, needing repairs around the house…”
Exploring Financial Aid
After meeting with his advisor, Phil felt frustrated and embarrassed, especially because many of his peers have their tuition paid by their parents and get to take vacations.
Phil feels clueless about the next steps after he graduates from his first four years at the university because no one in his family is a doctor.
People Can Relate
“I agree that this is super hard,” one reader commented. “I ended up taking a gap year so I didn’t have to juggle school costs and application costs simultaneously while doing schoolwork, applications, and working a job.”
A Potential Solution
“As someone coming from a working-class family, I highly recommend you get a credit card to help pay for applications and flights for interviews later,” another wrote.
“Def been there!” a third person said. “Keep your head up! Even if it takes a little longer, you’ll get to where you wanna go!”
Holding On to Your Dreams
First-generation college graduates can empathize with how Phil must feel.
We can only hope he asks around and gets the help and motivation he needs to become a doctor.
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