As a child I would always see my parents work hard for every dollar they made. When I reached my teenage years I realized that it was because they were immigrants to this country and took whatever job opportunity they could find. I also came to realize that I was an immigrant, and that life was tougher for not having the proper documentation. This year I fell into the biggest hole of my life. I learned that I was not going to get financial aid because of my legal status and my mother was also diagnosed with a tumer last month. I fell into a depression thinking I was not going to be able to go to college. My mother also could not get her surgery until she had insurance which she could not get because of her legal status. As I laid crying I came
About four years ago I arrived at Logan airport, Boston Massachusetts. Once the plane landed I felt excited to explore a new country that looked beautiful from the planes window, but I was also confused because everything was different from home and I had no idea where to go. Although I thought that was the hard part, there was way more obstacles coming my way such as language and culture among others which I had to learn fast.
My mother is an immigrant. A hardworking, pious woman who moved to a foreign country in order to raise her children and offer them everything she could. After her first three children, my mother grew accustomed to her feeling of loneliness. She was often left alone with three young children, dealing with their constant bickering and nagging. On top of that she had limited communication with others, due to a language barrier, no car and no friends in this new world. She struggled with her decision to stop working and put her schooling on pause. She struggled with injuries from childbearing. She struggled with her marriage, a marriage that took place between two very young lovers blind of reality, and shocked when hit with it. She often engaged
Some obstacles are more comical than others, yet they all played a part in me understanding that nationality can’t be wiped away. Moving to America was the biggest challenge I faced in my life. I had to restart my entire existence at the tender age of seven. How could I cope in such a foreign country as America, with its loud people and weird accents? I was terrified.
I have lived in two different worlds. The duality of the immigrant experience is a battle that every first-generation child has to wage. As I conquered my language barrier, a whole new world full of traditions and customs opened up. Seeking acceptance from my peers, it was hard not to adopt their culture and ignore my own in the process. However, abandonment was not an option in a family with a strong cultural identity. While there was nothing wrong with either culture, finding middle ground proved to be an ongoing journey.
Because of this, I suffered from “identity jet lag”; and I always questioned where I belonged. My first stigma to my identity wasn’t from the outside world, but from the people who looked like me; Muslim/Arab women are often discouraged from following their passions, and told to follow a more traditional role. But as I grew older, I recognized
My family consist of five people: my mother, father, sister, brother, and me. My dad works as a landscaper. My mom works at Ross dress for less, she works in taking out the merchandise from the boxes and putting them on the hangers, she has been working there for almost 10 years now. My parents immigrated here from Mexico to America a long time ago, before I was born, making them immigrants. My sister is 13 years old and my brother is 15. As for me, I am the oldest of my brother and sister, which means having to take up responsibility at a young age, and growing up early. Some of the responsibilities that i had to do was taking care of my brother and sister while my parents went to work, i’m the one who read all the important paperwork that would come in. I feel that even though i had to grow up early I received a little more trust when it came to going out with friends. Throughout my whole life I have only did one major move and it was from Concord to Antioch( not a huge distance), I moved when I was 6 or 7, and there wasn 't a lot to miss since I was at that stage where moving was the best part, also I barely to understood what was happening most of the time. I started 1st grade when I moved here to Antioch and the classes had already started so I was one of
My most rewarding accomplishment consists of my ability to overcome the fear and weakness that was conceived upon my arrival to the United States from Mexico, in addition to a newly evolved character which allowed me to achieve academic, professional, and personal success. Nearly seven years ago, my mother and I immigrated from a harsh economic climate in Mexico that was plagued with unemployment. Additionally, our family faced bankruptcy. While holding onto our faith, we left our hometown with only what we could carry and bought two one-way bus tickets. With nothing more than fear, two bags, and $50 in each of our pockets, we set out for what would be the most challenging journey of our lives.
Growing up in an immigrant household in America, was difficult. I didn’t live, I learned to adapt. I learned to adapt to the fact that I did not look like any of my peers, so I changed. Adapted to the fact that my hair texture would never be like any of my peers, so I changed. Adapted to the fact that I was not as financially well off as my peers, so I changed. Adapted to the fact that unlike other people who have families of four, I had a family of seven and numerous amounts of close relatives. That my parents, although lived in America for quite sometimes grew up in Nigeria, so English was not their first language so I adapted and changed myself in order to fit into societal standards. I learned to understand and interpret my parents’ native Igbo dialect but left that part of myself at home so that people will view me as the perfect American citizen.
As a teenager moving to a new country with a different culture, different language, and being thousands of miles away from everyone I grew up with was not an easy change, however, that was precisely what I did in January of 2013 when I came to the United States with my father. My whole world changed since, and shaped my way of thinking. From learning English, adjusting to a new culture, experiencing my first snow and finding my way in my new country, my life has been an exciting adventure.
Do I know who I am? Am I who I think I am? What makes me, me.? There’s a lot to know, and still so much more to explore and learn about myself. There are three main aspects about my life, that symbolizes who I am as a person. My cultural identity is based upon values, appearance and my life itself. I love who I am, and who I am becoming. My happiness and intelligence is what makes me stand out from others. I’ve always put my best foot forward and make the best decisions for myself. I am half Indian, Caucasian, European & Mexican on my mom’s side of the family. On my dad’s, I am Half Jamaican on my dad’s side of the family. Both of my parents taught me different ways around life and what is expected of me. But the three things that sums up my cultural identity are food, fashion, and family traditions.
First generation immigrants sacrifice their adulthood in search of a better life for their family and for future generations to come. My father came from Peru to support his family. He was the first person in his family to come to America. He works in road construction from morning until night so that my family is supported. The desire to repay both of my parents is the belief that guides my life.
In 2009, the U.S. Census gathered that there were over thirty-three million second-generation immigrants living in America. America is a melting pot, and in this melting pot, it isn’t uncommon for these children, myself included, to lose sight of what our lives could be–and the struggles that our parents faced to ensure that we have more opportunities than they had. As I write this essay, I’m stressing over the things any other American high school sophomore faces– grades, social drama and statuses, and my follower count on Twitter and Instagram. These “problems,” if even that, are minute to what others our age face around the world. Young adults in Sudan are starving, and young adults in Syria live in the middle of a war zone. As far away They raised two kids: my 19-year-old brother, who is currently a freshman at the University of Georgia, and myself. Thanks to their hard work, I’m able to worry about the things I do. Never have I worried about not having food on my plate, about being denied my education, or being forced to leave everything I know and abandon my dreams. It’s easy to forget what my parents have done for me, for the opportunities and doors they have opened for me. There’s no way to understand your life–the privileges you hold–without understanding the past. You must be thankful for all the things your loved ones have done for you, and I’m sure that I am. I can’t imagine my life if I were in my parents’ shoes, if I faced the struggles and hardships they did, and I know I wouldn’t have the courage to be as decisive as they were and are. Their perseverance and determination make me content with my life now, knowing that it could be much worse. Their experiences motivate me to capitalize on what they gave me–to become something. I want to be sure that my parents know I’m thankful and know that I will work hard to become what they didn’t have the opportunity to. 11th Grade Columbus High School Anjali Patel 5th
Ever since I was young, I knew that my mother did not have it easy when she came to America. She was a strong single mother, who could not speak English, living in a foreign land. Knowing that my mother had sacrificed everything she had in hope of establishing a better future and life for me, I had to repay her.
I saw women of many different ethnicities. Because it was all women, some decided to take off their hijab. After dinner, we went up to the large prayer room to watch the children recite parts of the Qur’an in the original Arabic translation. The men and women were both in the room, yet the women sat against the back wall. I observed proud parents, many of which got their phones out to record their child.