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First Generation Graduates: Marna Hostetler, Director of Library Services, David L. Rice Library, and Professor of Library Science

November 7, 2023

Education is important—that’s what Marna Hostetler’s parents always told her growing up. And with a love of learning, the Marion, Indiana, native decided to follow that advice by continuing into higher education after graduating high school. Hostetler pursued a double major in psychology and sociology at Indiana University, earning her degree in 1993.

As a first-generation graduate, what made you want to pursue a college education?

My parents had always stressed to me that I should go to college, and I wanted to make them proud.  I enjoyed school and wanted to continue my education.

What was your biggest challenge, if you had any?

I had two challenges. The first was the sheer number of classes to complete and how long it takes to finish an undergraduate degree. It can be a slog, and in fact, took me five years. The second challenge was learning to manage my time efficiently, as I began working part-time after my freshman year. But the experience taught me to be efficient and organized, which has paid off ever since.

What was your fondest memory about college?

Those years were wonderful, but my fondest memory is the strong feeling that I had found myself. I learned a great deal about myself and my potential, which gave me the confidence to pursue a career in libraries.

What is a piece of advice you have for anyone looking to pursue college as a first-generation student?

My advice would be to start. Pursuing a degree can seem overwhelming, but today there is so much on-campus support and many people who can help when needed. I would say, “Don’t wait, it’s worth it and you won’t regret it.”

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