Identities Impact on College Experience

The identity flower was interesting for me in a unique way. I thought going in I would be similar to the average American in about everything. I was right, but what I didn’t realize was my one major differences describes me more than all the other identifying characteristics. I live in a nuclear family, which by itself is not different, but add about 10 kids from the US average of 1 to 2, and it becomes unique. Growing up with a large family makes me better equipped to handle the challenges of the first year at college. Being the oldest in a family of 11 kids I had responsibilities not many other freshman had. From an early age I was a babysitter, peace maker and baker. I was relied on to keep the younger siblings out of trouble and entertain when mom needed a break. As I moved into the teenage years I had to become more responsible with chores around the house and taking care of my own needs individually. Being a part of a large family showed me you have to work for everything you want in life. Growing up I loved hockey and wished to play travel hockey. Hockey is expensive and in a big family it is not always affordable, so at 13 I started working to play hockey. The oldest in the family is expected to set an example, I worked hard to set an example not only in my household, but also within the community. I didn’t want a teacher or coach to ever think, “oh no, not another Janckila.” Coming from a large family made me a competitive and hard working person, I used those traits to my advantage in school and in sports. I was already adept at sharing a room as I rarely had my own room growing up, this helped me get along better with my roommate as I naturally try to be quiet late at night and not infringing on personal space. Having all these responsibilities at an early age helped make the transition to college smooth and benefit me well into the future. I do have other identities which are also important. Being a male is obviously a major identifier, as is coming from a rural community. I am a part of a religious denomination, which is important to me. This could impact my experience as I get deeper into my first year of college.

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