People tend to romanticize the life of an American Immigrant. They say, “We are going to America, the land of the free, the land of opportunity;” and for most part I do agree, America has given me many great opportunities throughout the years, but opportunity comes at a price. My parent moved to America when I was two and paid the price of losing their ability to communicate and to see their families. Being a D.A.C.A (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student now, you can conclude I lost that ability as well. Growing up was difficult to say the least for me, as well as my parents.
Although it’s a new experience it builds up a lot of pressure for the first generation college students because their family excepts you to do well and make them proud. In a recent interview I did with a fellow classmate, Carmen Li, she talks about how “Going to college is not only the dream of my parents but also mine as well. I want to be a useful person and find a good career to support my family. I don 't want to live in the box under the bridge.” Many first generations can agree with what she said because no parents want their children to be living in a box under the bridge. Parents have high expectations for their children to succeed.
When my dad told me that we were coming to the united states, I was excited but at the same time, I was mad that we were leaving some close family members behind. The people that I was mad about leaving behind were my grandfather, grandmother and my cousins. But I had to accept the fact that my education comes first and with better education comes a better life and that is all I want. Coming to America wasn 't hard at all financially because my dad was already here since he was a teen. So when, we came to America, we stayed with my uncle for about 3 weeks, then we moved to my aunt 's house for about a year.
When this problem occurred , I felt like there was nothing I can do. The problem was that I have had a hard time going out there to make friends. Because since I was little I only had one friend who would hang out with me in school. Then, the years went by she left me in this other group. When that occurred,I felt really depressed.
We had to grow up quickly and understand what was going on around us. I knew we lived in a depressed environment, but I didn’t have any connection to anyone outside of our communities that could confirm or deny our situation. I can recall one spring when my mother’s Uncle Puddin came from New York to visit us. He talked about many things that was new to us. When he left, my oldest sister who was on school break went to spend the summer of ‘62” with him and his wife.
My childhood was lost because of this, but since coming out a new world has opened. When I started my freshman year of high school I was quiet, extremely introverted, depressed, and always anxious. I didn’t how to make friends, I had no friends, and I was at a new school. My world was turned upside down, but for the first time in my life, I could be who I wanted to be, which was myself. I didn’t want to trapped inside myself anymore and didn’t want to be afraid of what the world could do to me.
My first year in the United States is probably the only year of my life that I wish had never happened. I was struggling with learning English, being familiar with the American culture, and finding friends. In the first six months, I had to ask my teachers and classmates to repeat themselves in order for me to understand what they were saying. I was very embarrassed, but I did not have any other choice. I felt under a huge pressure because my parents wanted me to make all A 's and I felt like I owe this to them because the only reason we moved here was for my brother and I to have the opportunity to study in this country and become successful doctors and make our future bright.
We were all very confused with what was happening. Until my parents told us we were going to Disney World. We had to wait a little over a month before we left for Orlando. The day we were leaving for Florida we drove to Omaha to the airport. Once we got on our plane, there ended up being a two hour delay.
I wake up to do everything by myself, cook, clean, go to school, and especially homework. The workload from school kept getting harder each year, and it got worse during the start of high school. When I first arrived back from my first day of 9th grade I had to annotate a poem written by Shakespeare. As I sat down to do the homework I realized I didn 't know what annotating meant. I asked my parents for help and they didn’t even knew who Shakespeare was.
Trying to make new friends when everyone already knew each other was a laborious task. I was the ultimate outcast. Plus, my face wasn’t the happiest so no one really approached me. The first day was really lonely. I remember texting my best friend from my last school and just wanted to start crying because I missed her so much.