Alexis Jackson ’18
Classical Studies & Humanities
Hello! My name is Alexis and I’m a first-generation college student majoring in Classical Studies and Humanities. I graduated high school in 2015 and started studying at UTSA that same year. Because I’m a first-gen student, this entire world was new to me and it was difficult to adjust at first. Now that I’m a senior, I look back on it and am so proud to see how far I’ve come.
Moving away from home and starting college can be nerve-racking, especially if you don’t know anything about college. It’s not just academics either, but everything that comes with being a university student (financial aid, time management, etc.) and these things can pile on quickly. But being first generation isn’t all struggle. There’s a powerful determination that comes from being the first in your family to attend a four-year university.
The peer mentor program, hosted by First to Go and Graduate (F2G&G), is just one of the ways UTSA serves and celebrates its first-gen population. Every first-gen student can sign up to be partnered with a peer mentor who is an experienced and successful college student. When I first met with my peer mentor, I felt like I had someone on my side who I could confide in and come to when I needed advice. Now, I’m a peer mentor myself and I love being able to return the favor by helping other first-gen students become the best they can be!
The thing I love most about UTSA is that you’ll always be welcomed with open arms. I have never felt afraid to ask questions. The people here are so willing to help out and tell you their stories. With almost half the students at UTSA first-gen, I know I’m not alone.
One thing I always remind my mentees is to not be afraid to ask for help! Even the strongest, smartest, most put- together person needs a little assistance from time to time. We are all here to make ourselves better, and we should all want to see each other succeed. Don’t suffer in silence by trying to do it all on your own. Your story, your opinion and your well-being all matter. Speak up because you deserve to be heard!