First-Gen Faculty & Staff

Nicole Arshad


Admissions Counselor
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Double degree in Strategic Communications & Media and Spanish, Seattle University, 2020 


What does being first-gen mean to you?

Being first-gen to me means I am making my family proud. I do what I do, of course, for myself, but a great majority is to show that my grandparents' and my parents' efforts were for something immaculate. It illustrates that a child from an immigrant family can achieve more than their predecessors, thanks to their predecessors. I am proud to be the first in my family to graduate from college, and it is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.

What challenges/barriers have you faced or overcome during college?

Throughout college, I struggled with various mental health disorders. There comes the point in time where you feel such despair and utter hopelessness that you're forced to face two options: dwell in the feeling of sadness and a sense of loss or find a way to climb out of the hole. Thankfully, I was able to seek help and attained a therapist to help work through my traumas and inter-generational issues. Having resources on campus to help me find support is something I will always appreciate.

What resource(s) or support helped you to be successful?

I am happy to say that I always surround myself with a supportive family, friends, professors, and mentors who cheer me on and pick me up when I'm feeling down. I am so grateful to have a therapist in addition to my support. All of these folks have helped me to be the person I am today: strong, capable, and willing to reach for the stars.

Do you have an inspirational quote that helped guide you through college?

Rupi Kaur, a child of immigrant parents and an astounding poet, has always been a light during the most challenging times. One of my favorite lines by her is, And here you are living, despite it all. It has helped motivate me to continue, stride after stride, no matter what comes my way.

What advice would you give to someone else who is also first-gen?

I want to tell a first-gen student always to keep your head held high. No matter what someone tells you, good, bad, or indifferent, you have made it this far. Why not keep going? The future is bright no matter what direction you go because it's you: you're paving your path, and you are unstoppable.