This study explored the experience of transitioning from common education to higher education for a group of Cheyenne and Arapaho students. Additional features of resilience were examined as well, which included their persistence in pursuit of a baccalaureate degree. A phenomenological approach was used in order to explore the lived experiences of the purposeful sample of seven Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members, all students at a public regional university. Data were acquired by qualitative inquiry based on in-depth interviews. Participants ascribed meaning to what they experienced through textural themes, including a sense of belonging and affectional ties. Furthermore, participants spoke of how they experienced the phenomenon, resulting in structural descriptors of determination, autonomy, self-discipline, and spirituality. Implications for school personnel and teacher preparatory programs are presented, as well as suggestions for future research.