Barring the first fret is VERY difficult -- for everyone! Even the most skilled will make it look easy, but it's no one's favorite. Time will help. Practicing a barred measure up and down the fingerboard can help a lot: high on the neck it's easier, then you work your way down. Also be very sure of your left hand thumb, and that the neck is not resting in the "web" between your thumb and index. It's not a just a matter of mere grip strength, it's also a finesse which will just take time and practice. Sometimes you're better barring with the side of your index finger, where you won't have the problem with that "gap" at the joint. Sometimes, if it's a half-barre or has a large stretch to a higher note, you need to use the bottom (flat) side of the finger. Arm position is a factor too -- if your elbow is further from your torso it can help arch the wrist better to get the barre in place. Anyway: be patient with yourself, because it's just not easy, but good to start working on it early!
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar