Highlighting FirstGen@Scripps

Hey y’all! 

With First Gen Student Day passing just last week, I want to highlight the FirstGen@ Scripps program because in high school I didn’t even know what being a first gen college student meant, and even less about programs and resources for first-gen students. My parents did not have the chance to attend a four year institution so I really didn’t know what to expect going into college.Picture first year Angela as small, terrified and shaking in her boots. Haha, I’m joking, it was more exciting than scary but still nerve-wracking! I wondered, did everyone party like they show on TV? Are professors really as strict as my high school teachers said? Is the workload the same as high school?? I had a lot of questions but, nonetheless, I did the thing and attended Scripps! 

Me, Angie, and our friend Aileen (this was right after Angie and I met <3)


In order for first-gen first years to get their bearings before regular orientation, we had our own orientation put on by FirstGen@Scripps. I arrived at Scripps a week earlier than everyone else and attended info sessions to help me navigate through the college environment. We went over financial aid information, communicating with professors, utilizing resources on campus, and connected with each other to build community! I can’t express how helpful pre-o was for me, most of the people I met I am still in touch with today! By the end of it, I was confident in knowing where/what my resources are and who to reach out to if I was struggling.

First Gen Week 2019! Free Popsicles at Mudd Dining Hall


There’s always fun events put on by the program throughout the semester that are just as helpful too! A few examples include workshops, student-faculty lunches, or open mic nights. Workshops in the past have had topics like managing your workload, participating in self care, learning about the financial aspects of studying abroad, and so much more. Through student-faculty dinners, I have been able to talk to and connect with professors which helped so much before course registration. At the beginning of my first year I was so scared to go to professors’ office hours, but with the help of my peers and first-gen faculty liaisons who gave me advice, I overcame my fear and walked into my professor’s office. Events put on by FirstGen@Scripps have also created spaces for first gen students to be recognized and appreciated. At open mic nights students express themselves through spoken word, poems, or through a song performance for the community. Being first gen has sometimes made me feel like an outsider on campus, but I know I can always go back to my community of FirstGen for unconditional support, and events like these help build that support in my opinion. 

We also have retreats where we spend the night at the Tiernan Field House to build community with each other and receive important info from the Co-Interns who run the program. It was super cute and felt like a slumber party!

FirstGen@Scripps’ First Zoom Meeting of the Semester <3

Mentorship Program

On top of events, we also have a mentorship program. At the beginning of fall semester the Co-Interns select a date where they reveal mentors to their mentees. It’s basically a fun little party where we eat, hang out, and then meet our first year mentees at the end. I’ve had the experience of being a mentee my first year and a mentor the following years. The program is meant to be informal and as a resource for first years to be able to have someone to reach out to when they need help. Even though technically I am not a mentee anymore I still reach out to my mentor who was given to me my first year- shout out to Andrea Flores (love youu)!! I knew (and still know) I have someone to go to who I know is there for me and wants to see me thrive. Having that is just SO IMPORTANT.

Why Would We Even Need A Program Like This?

On a more personal note, having a community like this can definitely help me build confidence in myself when I’m facing something like imposter syndrome. If you don’t know what imposter syndrome is it’s basically when an individual feels like a fraud and doubts their abilities and skills. Sadly, I am a victim of imposter syndrome 🙁 

I sometimes doubt myself and question how I even got into Scripps which VERY much hinders my performance in my classes and in general. I was not granted the same resources and access to programs my peers in college had in high school Often, that thought leads me to trick myself into thinking I don’t belong in my college or I’m not smart enough, but I am!!!! 

I don’t think this syndrome is only exclusive to my first gen student community, but I know I do experience it a lot. 

I heard of students who had parents looking over their college essays senior year of high school, and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s bizarre to me because I would only tell my parents whether or not I was done with a college app and that was the end of that conversation. Still, even in college, my parents don’t know exactly what I’m doing, but I still try to include them in everything I do. Coming to Scripps I didn’t know what to expect from my college experience and how to make the most out of it, but having this resource helps me tremendously. 

Now A Word From the Co-Interns of the FirstGen@Scripps Program…

Since I am highlighting this program I wanted to include the beautiful people who run it- the Co-Interns! Everyone give it up for our wonderful, marvelous, astounding, amazing, ground-breaking, spectacular, so amazing it’s kinda scary Co-Interns: Florencia Varsalona and Joanna Zamarripa Diaz!! 

“Hi everyone! My name is Joanna and I’m Flor and we are the co-interns working with the First generation @ Scripps program for this 2020-2021 school year. We would love to get to know everyone some more and tell you more about our program…

A little bit of what we do: we are here to provide support and help the first gen community connect, we have individual office hours as well as cointern office hours where we encourage students to drop in for absolutely any reason 🙂 We also host different events and workshops such as trivia nights and a mentorship program..

If you are interested in getting more involved with our community, Email us at [email protected] or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.”

Definitely check them out on instagram too! @FirstGenScripps

Hopefully this gives you an idea of a resource we have on campus for first gen college students! Definitely reach out to the co-interns or me if you have any questions, comments or concerns 🙂 My email is [email protected]

To all of my first gen college students who are high school prospective students right now: You are doing great! Can’t wait to meet your beautiful faces if you come to Scripps and can’t wait to welcome you with open arms!! College apps can be tough but trust the process and in yourself!