This interview-based research project examines how differential access to resources impacts the experiences of first-generation Latinx students from Chicago. It also explores how students cultivate belonging at their four-year institutions based on these resources and experiences. This study uses literature that focuses on inequality in education, first-generation students, and college transitions. I conducted eight interviews with respondents who grew up in Chicago and attend four-year institutions. Themes that are present in this study that emerged from the interviews were separated into three sections: 1) familial support, 2) culture shock, and 3) navigating belonging in college. These themes are analyzed and shed light on the importance of emotional and social support that are important to first-generation Latinx students’ college experiences. The themes also highlight how being first-generation makes those transitions and navigating college difficult, mainly because there is little to no knowledge of what to expect. I focus on understanding what that emotional and social support looks like and how that has played a role in their educational experiences.


Thomas, Zareen


Sociology and Anthropology


Arts and Humanities | Higher Education

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2020 Jocelynn Vega