The emotional toll of first-generation LatinX students


Photo credit: Joelena Despard

Being a first-generation college student, I feel an enormous amount of mixed emotions. There are days when I feel lonely and out of place, days when I feel determined, and other days when I feel as though I couldn’t care less about anything.

I, along with several other LatinX students, struggle with homesickness. Being away from our families for such a long time and moving into an environment where we are required to be independent is extremely difficult.

We are no longer reminded of the old days, like those Saturday mornings we’d wake up listening to music and clean the house, or when we had a rough day and needed someone to talk to.

We no longer have these foundations to exert from. It’s sort of like we’re expected to just deal with it and move on. Only once at CSUN did I feel welcomed and embraced.

It was a breezy, lonely Friday on campus, and there was an interactive club giving free hugs near the Oviatt Library. I usually walked passed the library to get to class, but that day I was approached by a young club member. I was so surprised when she walked up and gave me a hug. She opened up with ease and I knew I needed a hug that day.

It was the first time I had ever felt a sense of inclusiveness here at CSUN. The campus staff here has failed to provide students with spirit. Although we are all here for an education, we also want/need a sense of belonging and cheerfulness.

An inclusive environment can result in students feeling optimistic throughout their day. Without it, several students will continue to dislike attending CSUN.

Article written by Yessenia Perdomo of Latinas Rising.