Aimee Davidse

Aimee DavidseCurrent Position: Academic Program Counselor, College of Arts and Sciences

Alma Mater: Oregon State University

Major/Undergraduate field of study: Liberal Studies, emphasis in English and Writing

What was it like being among the first in your family to go to college?

It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be with my brother and sister going to college before me. In fact, it was my sister that dropped me off that first day on campus to get me settled in my dorm. It helped that I went to the same University that my brother attended, so it was already somewhat familiar to me. My roommate was a friend that I grew up with, so that also made it easier for me. Still it was easy to get lost in the crowd at a large university, but I was proactive in surrounding myself with a great group of friends that were fun and supportive during my time at OSU. They were major contributors as to why I didn't find myself homesick. College life was a lot different from high school, but I found that I was up for the adventure. I come from a family of hard workers with great work ethic. I'm pretty sure that's what carried me through to succeed at school, and also the fact that I had been working in order to pay my share of tuition and housing along with my parents' contributions. This did make me see that I didn't want to waste a dime of what we had earned to give me this opportunity.

Are there any unique challenges you faced as a First Generation student?

The largest challenge was navigating through my degree program without advising. I didn't meet with an actual advisor until my senior year. I was proactive in knowing my degree requirements. I was diligent in making sure that I was on track and taking the courses I needed, but also made sure I had a place for courses that I was interested in outside of my major. This made me realize that I was strong and independent, and could really navigate my way through whatever I wanted to do.

Do you have any advice for FGEN students at UP that are facing challenges?

Make sure to know what your resources are on campus. You will come across this information through orientation, workshops, advisors, instructors, classmates, friends, and so many other places. Take advantage of the fact that you've chosen a university where you don't have to fall through the cracks. There are so many of us that would love to listen to your story or situation, or get you to the best resources possible. You don't need to go through anything alone at UP.

How do you feel your experience prepared you, both professionally and personally?

My experiences as a FGEN truly paved the way to my profession. Each year my confidence grew and I became a stronger individual. I found that I became very good at self-navigating my way through to earning my degree and making the most of my time at OSU. I didn't realize that the friends that I helped guide through their own requirements or career options, would lead me to a career where I could do the same, but at a much greater scale!

Did a mentor play a role in your experience? How so?

Most people that I worked with or supervised me during my campus job for Oregon State Housing and Dining, helped guide me through my four years on campus. In my last year, the women that I worked with at a small women's publishing company for my internship, were excellent life and professional coaches.

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