#CelebrateFirstGen: Eric Zhong Fritsche

The University of Minnesota highlights the presence and experience of first-generation college students, faculty, and staff on campus during First-Generation College Student Celebration Week (November 8-12, 2021). Roughly 1 in 4 students at the University are the first in their family to attend college.

Here's the #UMNFirst story from computer science undergrad student Eric Zhong Fritsche.

My mother left after graduating high school in Guangzhou, China to go to Peru, Los Angeles, and San Francisco before meeting my dad. He grew up on a rural Minnesota farm before going to tech school to become a mechanic and work at an auto parts store.

From their combined efforts and support in a school where I was probably one of two Asians out of ~700 students K-12, I have made it here to the University of Minnesota. Without them, or my friends, I would not have got the skills and drive to make it here at the U for computer science.

My advice for other first-gen students: Be it through on-campus resources, mentors, student groups/clubs, or your friends, a support group will help get you thrive!