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  • Writer's pictureCalvary Sampson

Navigating College Mental Health as a First-Generation Student: A Personal Journey to Becoming a Therapist

Last night was a remarkable experience for me as I had the privilege of being a speaker for the Let Her Rise Program, engaging in a meaningful discussion about College Mental Health with graduating teen girls. Our conversation stirred memories of my college transition, and I felt compelled to share my journey with you.

As a first-generation college student, the path to higher education wasn't always a smooth one for me. I lacked the comprehensive knowledge about financial aid and scholarships that some of my peers had, thanks to the guidance of parents and siblings who had navigated the college process before. It was a challenge I confronted head-on.

In those initial days, I wasn't aware that on-campus mental health services were available to support students like me through this significant transition. However, I refused to let that deter me. Instead, I opened my mind to the possibilities and recognized an opportunity for growth in what some might consider a disadvantage.

My determination paid off. I successfully completed my undergraduate studies in Psychology and went on to earn my Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Today, at the age of 25, I stand as a therapist. I've become the guiding presence that I longed for when I was younger.

As a therapist, my purpose is to assist adolescents and young adults in navigating similar

transitions, drawing from the wisdom I've gained from my own journey. I am profoundly grateful for the challenges I overcame, as they have equipped me to provide support and empathy to those in need.

I share this story with you as a source of encouragement and empowerment. Know that you possess the capability to overcome any obstacle and shatter every box that society may attempt to confine you within. Your potential is boundless, and your journey is uniquely yours. Embrace it, for you can truly achieve greatness.

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