First Generation College Student is a Pioneer on Campus

Emily Gormus Influences Others to Strive for a College Education


Jackie Letaiugyang

Sophomore Emily Gormus is the first in her family to attend college.

Katie Baker, Associate News Editor

Bridgewater, VA – Emily Gormus is a first generation college student who is shaping her own narrative and chasing her passions at Bridgewater College. Gormus has always known what she wanted for her future: attend college. As a sophomore, Gormus is already working down the path that she has paved. 

Gormus is from Buckingham, Virginia. She grew up in a family who encouraged her to work hard and to be successful. Gormus’ father is a state employee and attends trade school classes at night; her mother is a technology specialist and received her experience working with a technological company. 

Gormus said that her parents are “really proud” of her for working diligently on her degree. She mentioned that her Pop is especially proud of her because she is the only individual who has ever gone to college on his side of the family.  

As the first child in a large extended family to attend college, Gormus mentioned how the experience has influenced her family. Gormus attending college and succeeding in her classes is paving the way for the younger generations, specifically her cousins, to do the same.

“I’ve helped to bolster my younger cousins’ aspirations to go to college,” said Gormus. 

Gormus mentioned how adjusting to college was a slight challenge, as she did not have anyone in her family with the experience to seek guidance from; however, Gormus’ family sought to support her as she made the transition. 

“They might not completely understand what I’m going through because they have never been through it, but they still help me in any way that they can,” said Gormus. 

Gormus wanted to attend college for various reasons. She is a strong proponent of learning– and as such she recognized the practical elements of having a college education. Ultimately, she wanted an education that could “open up doors that otherwise would not have been opened.”

Gormus keeps herself intellectually engrossed at Bridgewater. She is a Sociology major, a Leadership minor, a Communication Studies minor and is completing the Racial and Ethic Studies concentration.  

Gormus’ work ethic extends to other aspects of her life as she can be seen working in the registrar’s office on campus and serving the student body as a member of BC United. Gormus can often be found working on assignments, but like most college students, she likes to spend her free time hanging out with friends.  

Since her childhood, Gormus has “always really loved to learn.” This love of learning has guided Gormus on her educational pursuits as well as in her everyday life, because she believes that “life is continually about learning.” 

Gormus revealed that she enjoys learning through documentaries and through the experiences of others. College is giving Gormus the opportunity to learn in a classroom setting. 

Gormus understands the value in asking questions and often “asks questions about why and how something is the way that it is.” Gormus actively seeks to learn and ask questions; and her Sociology courses are allowing her to do just that. 

Emily Gormus’s college education is making an impact on her own life and also on the lives of others. “Seeing me go to college has given others the hope to see that they can experience it too” said Gormus.

Gormus’s desire for her college education is “to make my family proud, that’s something they expect of me, but also something [I] expect of myself.”