First-Gen World Traveler - Dailey Thompson
My name is Dailey Thompson and I am a Senior and a first-generation student at The University of Memphis. My mother, who is a retired flight attendant, always loved to take me out of school a couple of days out of the year to fly to another state just for the fun of it. I think those special days helped me to develop a love for travelling and exploring. So much so, that once I entered college I was set on majoring in international business, so that I would always be able to learn about different places and people even in my place of work.
"The bonds that I made with the other students and staff gave me the confidence to do something that I never thought was possible, and that was to study abroad."
Being that I am the first in my family to attend college, I didn't have a sound idea of what college was going to be like. So as a high school senior, I made a plan that I was going to just buckle down for the next 4 years and stick to my books and classes so I could graduate as quick as possible and start my career. But after completing my first semester of freshman year, I realized how hard completing college would be, not just in reference to classes but in my personal life as well. It turned out, that although sitting in the library all day studying was great for my GPA it was bad for my social life, and ultimately my state of mind suffered because of that.
Luckily, being a part of organizations at my university gave me a strong support system to lean on when my journey got tough. Not only was I able to speak to my advisors about the troubles that came with balancing my classes and my social life. But I could also speak to them about problems that I may be having in choosing what to do after graduation, friendships, and share all of my good experiences too. The bonds that I made with the other students and staff gave me the confidence to do something that I never thought was possible, and that was to study abroad.
While studying in South Korea I was able to do things that I had always dreamed of while in high school. Learning the language and studying at one of the top universities in the country were two of the major educational benefits, but the most memorable thing to me was the experiences that I made with new friends while there. My trip abroad taught me many things, but the most important thing that it taught me was how important it is to make worthwhile experiences while you're in college. This would be my advice to other first gen students: Although it is very important that you make good grades and give 100% in your classes, don't let it all distract you from the many opportunities that being at a university gives you. You come to college to become a well-rounded individual, so put time and effort into developing interests and passions for different things just like you would with your knowledge.