First-Gen Undergrad: Natalie Stoklosa (Kresge '21, Psychology and Education)

Background: I am from San Diego, CA. I am the first person in my family to attend a 4 year university. I plan to pursue a masters degree in School Psychology.

What motivated me to go to college: I was motivated to go to college by my school psychologists from high school. They did so much to help me and so many other students through high school. This inspired me to pursue psychology in hopes of helping students in the ways that they helped me.

What's the biggest challenge you encountered as a first-gen student and how did you overcome it?: The biggest challenge I encountered as a first-gen student was not knowing how to advocate for myself or plan my classes to meet the requirements.

What would you tell my first-year self now?: I would tell my first-year self to just keep pushing and don't let anything stop you.

What was the best thing about your college experience?: The best thing about my college experience was living on campus at UCSC and meeting people from so many different backgrounds.

How being a first-generation student has influenced me: Being a first-gen student has pushed me to do my best to make myself and my family proud.