This Is Why Becoming a US Citizen Is Actually a Huge Deal
Community

This Is Why Becoming a US Citizen Is Actually a Huge Deal

It may seem like it's not but it really is.

21
Emilio M

If you have kept up with my writing, (which I greatly appreciate), you'll notice I do not really like talking about anything political or controversial; that's mainly because I do not want to spark online battles between friends and family who have very distinct beliefs. In this case, however, I felt the need to share how big it is to become a US citizen in today's world.

To some this may not seem like a big deal or anything worth highlighting, if you are one of those people, do not worry because I was definitely one of those up to the very point I was sitting in my induction ceremony. In my head, I always told myself "I'm still and will forever be a proud Mexican - why would I want to be a US citizen? Maybe to get more job opportunities but that's about it I guess…"

Even when other peers asked me if I was excited to become a US citizen, I would answer something along those lines, but what could have possibly happened in the 3-hour ceremony that made me change my perspective on this? Well, when I got to the place where the ceremony took place, I was told to sit with the people whose ceremony supposedly began at exactly 12:02 pm, as it said in my appointment letter.

Once sitting there, I took a close look at my surroundings. I was in a big auditorium that it had yet to be filled up, however, based on the number of seats with envelopes on the first floor, I knew it would eventually fill up a bit. In the second floor of the auditorium, there were hundreds of people already, who later became thousands. Those people were the friends and family of the newly to-be US citizens.

That was were my parents, my aunt, and my grandma sit. To my left, there was a Mexican woman, like me (except I'm a man). To my right, there were two gentlemen, a Brazilian from Sao Paulo and a Dutchman from Amsterdam. Behind me, there was an Asian looking lady, whose nationality I was unsure of until the moment they announced it later on in the ceremony, and in front of me, there was a couple who seemed to look Arabic to me.

Despite all of these differences of backgrounds and ethnicities, all these people surrounding me had one thing in common... They were genuinely excited about what it was about to happen. But even to this point I could not really sympathize with them or see why they were all so thrilled. It was not until they all began conversing that it suddenly hit me.

For about an hour and a half, before the ceremony began, they all shared their incredible background stories to each other. From some, I heard the incredible coming of age stories, from others I heard how tragic circumstances turned back around the moment they stepped here. Others shared how they had to flee their home country, come in as refugees, learn the language, adapt to the new culture and make a living off of nothing. Others told me about how they came alone to the US in search of opportunities that were not available in their home countries, and I also heard how some had to basically abandon their families in order to come here to work and provide for them from the US.

After listening to all these truly mesmerizing stories I submerged myself in my own thoughts and began thinking, "Wow, what have I done other than taking a history test and sign some papers from the application form?" Even though I did go through somewhat of a "conversion point" because I did have to learn the language and a few other things, I was fortunate enough to never ever experience any of the hardships all these people had to go through in order to get to this very point.

That's when I realized that being there with all those people was actually a huge deal. I was in a room full of people who for the most part came from nothing, worked for years to be able to stay in The States long enough to make a living and later on succeed. And that success, they all managed to obtain through the years was essentially embodied by the citizenship they all received that day with me. That citizenship was the reward for all their hard work, dedication and tireless want to live a better life.

On that day, June 13th, 2019, 540 heroes representing 81 different countries became citizens with me. As the judge said in his commencement speech, "Be honored and proud, not only because you are now US citizens, but also because you are legal immigrants."

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

I Started Dating A Guy Before Quarantine, But Now We Rarely Speak Unless I Double-Text

"He's really nice and cute and I like being around him when we see each other, but he's awful at communication."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

This Is Exactly What You Should Eat Today In Quarantine, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

You've probably been eating it the past three months,

If we added up all the minutes of my life I've stood in front of the fridge or pantry mindlessly glazing over options, it would probably amount to several years longer than I'd care to admit.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

If You Don't Think People Are Legitimately Scared To Stay In Lockdown, Think Again

People are terrified of what could happen if states stay in lockdown too long.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be the topic of discussion for most U.S. residents. From federal reopening guidelines to individual state timelines, the country is all over the place. This sparks conversations within the news, social media, and in family homes about the consequences of reopening the country incorrectly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

If You Don't Think People Are Legitimately Scared To Reopen States, You're Not Looking Hard Enough

People are terrified of what could happen if states begin reopening too early.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be the topic of discussion for most U.S. residents. From federal reopening guidelines to individual state timelines, the country is all over the place. This sparks conversations within the news, social media, and in family homes about the consequences of reopening the country incorrectly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Need To Stretch It Out

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

Flexibility is an important part of life. Yes, you need to be able to go with the flow and adjust when needed, but literal, physical flexibility is equally handy. Not only does increased flexibility keep you safe from injury each time you work out, but a good stretch session is incredibly soothing after a long day. Your body goes through a lot! It needs to cool down and get loose after all the activities you put it through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Amazing Things That Happened To Me When I Took Just A Week Off From Social Media

I've taken one-week off social media, and here's what I learned.


You’ll think clearer.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments