"Graduation feels like a dream come true"
First-gen student Hadia Kalsoom reflects on earning degrees in research psychology and sociology
As my graduation is coming soon I keep remembering days when I had just moved to the United States and going through cultural shock. During my first semester all I wanted to do was drop out. I am glad I didn’t. Graduation feels like a dream come true. My family and advisors have been the biggest support through my journey as undergraduate and graduate student. I will miss being a student despite all the stress that comes with it.
I loved being at the University of Nevada, Reno so much that I decided to work here and after graduation I will be still on campus working as an academic advisor for the college of engineering. I am looking forward to being on campus as a faculty member and exploring new things.
COVID-19 stole my bachelors graduation in 2020 and at the start of semester when college went back to in-person I was afraid that I might not be able to have my masters graduation in-person too. As a first-gen student there were many things that I was not aware of that might seem so simple to others.
My advice to my first-gen fellows is never hesitate to ask questions and to use resources that are on campus. Find your group on campus. My best friends moved away to different states but I will always cherish the times I spent with them whether it was meeting for lunch everyday or stressing about finals week. Having people around who understand and support you during the school years and even after that keeps you motivated and makes college life more fun.