First Gen | Hannah Kedzierski

Photo by Olia Danilevich on Pexels

Three generations ago and so much has changed.

My great-grandparents wouldn’t believe who I am today.

There was no one else to blaze this path, uncharted.

Friends whose family history they take for granted,

An achievement not cherished, thrown away,

Like a simple steppingstone,

Rather, a pebble, meaningless.

Don’t be like that.

The journey is more important than the destination,

So you go ahead.

Paperwork, applications, placement, orientation,

Undergraduate, subsidized, convocation.

Words completely unknown, like tongues spoken in a foreign language, falling on deaf ears.

What even is a convocation?

Bachelor’s, Master’s, crash course, deep dive,

Nasty emails with unclear subject lines that,

Everyone else seems to know but you.

Why does everyone else seem to know but you?

This ignorance made worse by the creeping doubt that,

Maybe you’re getting caught up in the collegiate clout after

All this time but I still try to not be defined by accolades,

Plaques, badges, ceremonies, awards, GPAs.

Finally an acceptance to not be inhibited by ignorance,

But be empowered by the pursuit of knowledge.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

So you have to help yourself, teach yourself,

Give yourself the education that your parents didn’t have,

But so selflessly helped you achieve.

When it is all said and done,

And the last assignment is submitted,


When you walk across the stage,

Just remember to cherish the moment,

And inspire the next generation to do the same.

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