Spotlights on First-Generation Bobcats: Beginnings

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I had the chance to speak with several students this weekend who are the first in their immediate families to attend university. This article is part of a series we are conducting to showcase Bates’ first-generation students and how their attitudes and outlooks change over the duration of their first year.

Deandra “DJ” Hyman ’21 of Hartford, Connecticut looking to major in Asian Studies

What do you think of Bates so far?

“Academically, Bates is what I thought it would be, but socially it is a challenge. Coming from an urban community where you see a lot of minorities, the dynamics at Bates are a new playing field. It takes a lot for me to go out and be a part of the community, but Bates is very engaging and friendly.”

How did you prepare for coming here? What was it like at home before arriving?

“I went through a lot of workshops from both my high school and the Bobcat First program. These workshops covered conversations from being a minority on campus, to time management, to staying safe on campus. At home, I had numerous conversations with my family about what it means now that I am the first in the family to go to college.”

What do you want to become involved with (clubs, sports, etc.)?

“I want to become involved in the international club, Amandla, Bates Builds, CSA and 2 B.E.A.T.S.”

What are your goals for the semester?

“My goals for this semester is to figure out my schedule and get out more often to meet people and participate in social events around campus.”

Travis Palmer ‘21 of Rumford, Maine looking to major in Biology

What do you think of Bates so far?

“So far, I really enjoy the atmosphere of Bates. Everyone is very friendly and there are multiple resources available for help.”

How did you prepare for coming here? What was it like at home before arriving?

“I prepared by looking on the website to see what programs and clubs the campus had to offer. My hometown was rather small and very close knit, a sort of community where you knew almost everyone. The demographics were very different too. There is much more diversity at Bates.”

What do you want to become involved with (clubs, sports, etc.)?

“I really want to be involved with the Lewiston community. There are a ton of partnerships within the city that I am interested in.”

What are your goals for the semester?

“My goal for this semester is to ease into the campus life and get used to the workload. It’s very different than my last school, so it’ll take a little while to adjust.”

Monica Luna ‘21 of Avondale, Arizona/Adjuntas del Refugio, Mexico looking to major in Economics

What do you think of Bates so far?

“It is very beautiful. I feel very happy and safe and so much of it has to do with the professors, administration, JA’s, and so on. I’m never afraid to ask questions thanks to them. Bates is a welcoming environment and I am so proud to call myself a Bobcat.”

How did you prepare for coming here? What was it like at home before arriving?

“I bought lots of winter clothes since I did not really have much because I’m from the southwest. I love Arizona; there’s just something so special about it. However, I was really excited to go to Maine for a new adventure. The only hard part was leaving my family. They are the best thing in my life and the only reason why I decided to go so far is because I knew they would support me. I love my home but I feel a ‘great perhaps’ at Bates.”

What do you want to become involved with (clubs, sports, etc.)?

“Definitely Student Government, community service, and so on. I am not much of a thrill-seeker but in the future I will try something new. For this year, I want to get settled and test the waters.”

What are your goals for the semester?

“I want to be successful academically and make my classes my main priority. However, I also want to make sure that Student Government (if I am selected) and my community are also priorities. I want to be content with what I do with my time and how I do it. I just hope that I follow through by the end of my first year.”

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Monica Luna ‘21 is ecstatic to start life as a Bobcat. JAMES MACDONALD/THE BATES STUDENT

 

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