On Being a First-Gen College Student

Wow, it’s been a long time since I last posted (more on what I have been up to later). I recently found this article on The New York Times‘ website, and I instantly gravitated to it. I was the first in my family to go to college, and I know that many people believe that, if you get the grades and financial aid to pursue higher ed, then your worries are over. I myself believed this for a long time. And yet, the truth is that academia is permeated by socio-economic inequality and–let’s be honest–a culture of privilege that can often make the first gen student feel very out of place. I definitely felt out of place in grad school until I learned to embrace my background and use it as a strength instead of hiding from it. I encourage all students to read the article above. It will change how you look at your campus culture.


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My name is Erin Milne, and I am a mathematics student and teacher. I earned my master's in math from the University of Vermont, and I received my undergraduate education from Lyndon State College. My goal for this blog is to make mathematics interesting, useful, and non-frightening, as well as to inspire other low-income and first-generation students to continue their education. I hope this blog will be helpful, inspiring, and thought-provoking for high school and college students facing the same challenges that I have faced.

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