OPINION: Insights from an FGEN student

By Chanson Aki | November 7, 2019 9:50pm
Chanson Aki, FGEN student and junior marketing major. Photo courtesy of Chanson Aki.

Coming into college, I had no idea what to expect to be honest. For a Hawaii kid that came out to the mainland with no background knowledge coming in, it was rough to begin with. I would progress through school like I always did, calm, cool and collected. I made lots of friends, got good grades and even picked up a side hobby of gym basketball with the people on my floor. In my opinion, college was what you made of it, and I decided to do what I pleased without hearing out anyone's opinion on how I should be living my college life — or so I thought. 

I realized that college holds more truths than I hoped to believe there were. My freshman year had a fair amount of successes and failures. A couple of things that I found about included but were not limited to: 

1) I am me, and this is my life to live. As an FGEN student, the expectations are higher because we are the first ones to attend college. I wanted to do law coming into college. However, I decided that was something that I wanted to do, but I was more than just "law." I realized that life is not limited to one path but many paths for you to succeed, fail and explore. So my words of wisdom here are "Let’s get lost together!" 

2) Try new things, coming into college I was a fan of two sports: bowling and baseball. Little did I know that my new favorite things would be lifting and basketball. You never know what you like until you try it. 

3) Be open! In my opinion, it’s the hardest thing to do for a first-generation college student because of the path we were set to follow. However, you will find that a lot of people are just like you when you decide to express yourselves to others. I have made a lot of friends in college because I was not afraid to be honest with them. Being yourself is the most attractive thing to people!

I am the only child in my family. I am a Native Hawaiian from Hawaii. I am a first-generation college student. My name is Chanson Aki, and I am one of the first-generation ambassadors who aspires to help FGEN students find their place here at the University of Portland, whether it be helping with time management or planning events. I wish to meet all of you and explore this journey of life with all of you as well. And with that, Chanson out! I love you 3000. 

Chanson Aki is a junior marketing major. He can be reached at aki21@up.edu