Meet Tiffany.

“I’ve always wanted to come to UF, from the very beginning, it was like that’s what I wanted to do. My family grew up as Gator fans–nobody had ever been to college, but everyone knew that was the best school in Florida, it’s just what I wanted to do. I was kind of nervous about getting into UF. I cried for like two weeks beforehand and I would say it’s because I’m first-generation. I had a lot of friends who were applying to UF as well, and they had parents who were legacies, parents who donated to the Booster Club–I actually had a really good friend on my cheerleading team who’s parents donated to the Booster Club and it got me thinking that I had never really heard anything about college. I did all my applications on my own, I did my FAFSA, my research, my scholarship applications, everything. Nobody knew how to help me. I’m the oldest sibling, so I didn’t have anyone older who had already done the process. It wasn’t like I really had anybody to ask these things. Listening to people say, “Oh, my parents did this or that,” or “Oh, my parents went to UF” is hard to hear, because are my chances diminished because I don’t have anybody who goes here, anybody with a lot of money, donating money, things like that. But when I found out, most of my friends didn’t get in–only like 4 people in my school got in. And then I got an email from MFOS saying to apply–and when I was accepted, I still didn’t really know what it was. When I got here, people kept saying “You only got into UF because of your socioeconomic status.” And it’s totally not true. I wasn’t accepted as an MFOS student until I had already been accepted into the university. You try to explain it to people but they don’t get it. One of my close friends, she was bashing me, saying “You get all your money, I have to pay it all back.” And I’m like “Yeah, and you also drive a brand new car sitting outside, and I don’t even have a car.” And I haven’t had all of these things, and now I get a full ride education, but you were handed a silver spoon your whole life. Sometimes, it’s like really? Have you not paid attention to your life for the last 20 years? That’s the cool thing about being a first-generation student, I feel like we appreciate a lot more things, because we understand that this is an honor. My cards were not dealt to end up here, and a lot of people whose families aren’t of wealth don’t even end up at college. “


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