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First-Generation Student Spotlight: Victoria Bell

Sophomore history student looks forward to a career as an archivist

“Honestly, it’s really scary being a first-generation student, but it’s a point of pride because I am the first person in my family to decide that a bachelor's degree is what I want and I’m here to pursue it,” said CMU student Victoria Bell.  

Bell is from Littleton, Colorado, and has always been interested in history. She loved the way her high school teacher Mr. Woodman brought the subject to life through storytelling and wanted to focus her career on piecing stories of the past together.  

Bell's transition from high school to college was a rough one for several reasons.

“Other than being a first-generation student, having absolutely no idea what was going on at any given time — I'm also an only child, so having to suddenly share my space with a roommate and be away from mom and dad for the first time, even if it's only a 4-hour drive, was really jarring,” Bell said. “I was not having a good time the first few months of freshman year, but once I got settled in, it was a lot easier.” 

Meeting fellow students with common interests was key to feeling at home at CMU for Bell.

“My favorite part of CMU is the culture. Everyone is really nice and welcoming here. Everyone says hi and holds doors and acts like it's more of a community than some of the other colleges that I visited before coming here. Everyone I met here was super excited that I was prospective freshman, but when I went to other colleges, that just didn't seem to be the thing.” 

Bell found her Mavily in her academic courses, Fencing Club and Mesa Catholic. 

“I’d also like to thank the TRIO team here at CMU, they have been phenomenal at helping anytime I have a question,” Bell said.

TRIO Student Support Services is a federally funded program offering workshops, individualized attention and mentoring to assist first-generation, low-income and disabled students achieve their academic, personal, financial and professional goals.  

“Going to CMU has positively impacted my life in such a way that now my future is unlimited. I can go pretty much wherever I want, and I can do a lot more things having a college degree than I would without,” said Bell. After graduation, she is looking forward to working as an archivist and is especially interested in clothing and fashion history.  

November is First-Generation Student Month, and as a Firs- Generation Serving Institution, Colorado Mesa University is proud to celebrate. 


Written by Hannah Odneal