First-Gen at WSU: Keydy Sebastian-Perez

Wichita State University is home to nearly 5,000 first-generation students, individuals whose caregivers weren't able to complete a college degree and who lack the firsthand experience to tackle college life. To help with their transition, Wichita State offers a number of resources to first-gen students to support them during their time in college, including F1RST GEN SHOCKERS.

Hear from Keydy Sebastian-Perez, a current first-gen student at Wichita State, about her first-gen experience.




Forensic sciences



How does it feel to be the first member of your family to attend college?

It is terrifying and a lot of pressure. I have no guidance from anyone in my family and I have to pave the way for my younger siblings to follow.

Why did you choose Wichita State?                    

I chose Wichita State University because it felt like home. I always visited it on college visits since I was a kid, and it grew on me. It did generally feel like (college) was the last step to my education. Most of the careers I would like to pursue definitely include higher education.

I wanted to pave the way for my siblings to follow. I wanted to help them.

What is your advice for first-generation students?

If you're scared, do it scared. Trust me, I missed out on a lot of fun opportunities because I was too scared to try or do it. No one is judging you, everyone is too worried about themselves. 

Which support services do you use at Wichita State as a first-generation student?

I visit my advisor a lot for any questions about setting up my classes and such. It is a very welcoming and safe place to ask questions.

Which support services would you recommend for other first-generation students?

Definitely talk to your advisors. They are so helpful in getting the classes you need and want. Great people. Asking questions is a very nerve-wracking thing to do. They created such a safe and friendly environment for me to feel comfortable enough to ask questions about things that would be seen as common sense.

What social activities or organizations do you participate in?

I am in the Wichita State University rowing team. Everyone is so friendly. It’s like everyone comes together and has a great time. Everyone knows that you’re learning. They’re willing to help you.  

What are your plans after Wichita State?

To be happily working my dream career and providing the help and support I would have wanted to my siblings and younger friends.

What advice do you have for Wichita State faculty and staff who work with first-generation students?

I don't have much advice but please be patient. We are just learning and sometimes need to make mistakes. I really appreciate all of you for guiding us through this new life experience. 

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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