My first year in college I walked in as an out of state student, excited to face any of the challenges college had to offer and tried to continue making everyone back home proud. Yet, as I continued on my path I learned that I am actually walking as a first generation, Hispanic, out of state student from a substandard high school. I have learned that this identity comes with a lot of baggage, and began to reach out for help. Yet, once I was here I could not identify with anyone and none of the resources I reached out to were doing me any favors. I contemplated dropping out and probably just transferring, but I could not let my community back home down.
Back in Houston, many of my greatest friends are at home wishing they could be in school as they wait to see what their work schedule allows them to do. Every time I come back, they are excited for me to share my experience, discuss the issues I face, and even teach them. All of them yearn to continue with school and to leave their current state, but because of failed high school practices and poor financial aid, I continue on for my friends.
Back home, my parents pray that I stay in school as they wait for me to come home to also share my experience with them. My parents do not know anything about college, they barely graduated high school back in Mexico and came to Houston hoping that I can achieve the American dream. They have worked up to three jobs at a time losing all types of sleep just so I don’t have to worry about finances, so every time we talk in person or on the phone, we hold back the struggles we are facing and continue forward for each other.
Which brings us to the issue of immigration. The people who migrate to the US have goals in mind, they are not criminals, rapists, or any of that nonsense. They face issues you could never imagine because they do not want the people supporting them to worry. We should not make their journey difficult because they come from another place, we should walk alongside them because they have decided that this place is one that would make them and their community back home a better one.