Blue and Gold - Fall 2021 | Winter 2022 Volume 2 - Issue 2 - Page 56

FIRST GENERATION

The Voices of Bluefield State

First to go to college . First to take uncertain steps towards an uncertain destination . First to juggle the daily demands of family , work and school .
Many at Bluefield State are “ first generation ” students . That has been a constant through our entire 126-year history .
With this issue focused on the return to a residential campus , and with our largest freshman class in decades , it seemed appropriate to hear from a few who ’ ve been there . And who made it .
These were the thoughts going through Sarita Rhonemus ’ head as she made her trip from McDowell County to Bluefield State . Her mother had finished high school , but her dad only made it through 8th grade . This was not unusual . What was unusual was Sarita finding that something inside that wanted to do more .
Often with the help of others . On campus and off .
Now they ’ re back lending hands , helping those who may be going through what they did .
With this issue focused on the return to a residential campus , and with our largest freshman class in decades , it seemed appropriate to hear from a few who ’ ve been there . And who made it .
If you ’ re a student , do any of their voices sound familiar ?
“ What am I doing here ? I ’ m too old to be doing this . I need to get back before the kids get home from school . I ’ m not even smart enough to be doing this .”
Sarita A . Rhonemus , Ph . D Academic Affairs Administrator HLC Accreditation Liaison Officer
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