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SCU First Gen Staff/Faculty Profiles

Janet Giddings
Faculty, Religious Studies
Where did you attend college?

Dominican University, University of San Francisco; and, San Jose State University

What was your college experience like as a first-generation college student?

At Dominican for undergrad I was lost. Everyone thought I knew what I was doing because I was 36 years old. Older students were identified as "reentry" students but I never entered originally so never understood the 're' tag. It was fellow students, all traditional or younger, who helped me figure things out. I soon realized I was not alone in the experience and had a great time. Before graduation a young student asked me if I wanted the "dorm" experience and I slept over one night in the dorms! It was noisy and I didn't sleep but was so grateful for the experience and especially the kindness.

What message do you have to share with current first-generation college students?

Enjoy it. Ask questions. Find faculty and staff you feel comfortable with and chat with them about how things are going and ask them how to navigate. You are not alone.