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Abstract

In this piece, the author sets out to explore the first-generation college identity through a gothic lens. In the early stages of this project, Montalvo had considered doing research on narratives from other first-gen college students as a way to trace the uncanny and the abject in their experiences. However, as she began reflecting on her own personal history, she realized that in a matter of only two years she had already experienced moments of distance, uncanniness, and confusion, which are recorded here. In presenting these installments in non-chronological order, Montalvo intends to insert a gothic element of disorder, which also reflects her experience with certain financial issues that resulted in her leave from the university. Issues of cultural identity are also explored as the author embraces her Chicana identity and finds a way to overcome the challenges she faces.