Who am I?

  • Gary Reynolds Durham University
Keywords: first-generation college, higher education, childhood trauma, addiction, homelessness, healing


This is a personal narrative of Gary Reynolds, a first-generation Ph.D. student at Durham University. This narrative outlines Reynolds’ struggle with overcoming early life experiences to achieve his ambition of gaining a Ph.D. at an elite higher education university in England. Reynolds discusses how issues such as early childhood trauma, crime, drug use and homelessness have impacted his life and how these experiences have shaped who he is today. This narrative concludes with Reynolds explaining how he has used these experiences as a positive influence in his studies and why he feels this makes him and other first-generation scholars valuable additions to the higher education system. Content Advisory: This narrative contains content that may be upsetting to readers.