Local Students at University: Narrative Descriptions of Lived Experiences
‘Local students’ attend college or university in the same city where they attended high school. Local students’ self-narratives suggest that their ‘identity or sense of self’ and ‘sense of belonging or connection with others’ may hinder their academic success. This study gathered data from focus groups and surveys of local and non-local students of a private, national liberal arts college concerning their lived experiences as local students at university. This data describes local students’ self-narratives about ‘identity or sense of self’ and ‘sense of belonging or connection with others.’ The beliefs and experiences reflected by these self-narratives may suggest unique challenges that affect local students’ university outcomes. With awareness of these experiences and beliefs, institutions of higher education could tailor programs to benefit local students to improve their sense of well-being, which may improve retention and academic success.