My Concerns, Hopes, And Dreams As A First Generation Latina College Student
Start writing a post

My name is Tania (trust me, my name is way longer than that.) I am a First Generation American and with that title comes the fact that I am also going to be the first person in my family to graduate from college.

My mother is from Honduras, a Central American country bombarded with violence and poverty. My mother migrated from her little village in the state known as Cortes and made her way through the aridness of Mexico and across the Rio Grande into Texas. When she got to the border she was granted a visa because, at the time, Honduras had been struck by Hurricane Mitch. My mom was lucky. She has been living in this country with the ability to work and walk the streets without the fear of being deported.

In recent years, America has been engulfed by a very hateful atmosphere in which bigotry, misogyny, and discrimination rule. The President, a man who has openly called immigrants "animals," has revoked the visa that permitted my mother to live freely in America for the past 20 years.

He has given Hondurans 18 months to pack their bags and to leave this country. The idea of being separated from my mother kills me, even though she is nonchalant and is ready for any hardships she may have to face as her status in this country may change to “illegal immigrant.”

Why does this matter? It matters a lot because like my mom, many Hondurans, and other Central Americans, have worked legally in this country, have contributed to this country’s economy by paying their taxes, and most importantly they have created a new family branch in this country of “opportunities.”

My mother had very humble beginnings; the reason she came to this country was to not only help her impoverished family but to also give me and my siblings a better future. And as I graduated from an inner-city high school and entered the prestigious university that is Stony Brook, my reason for going to college is more than just to get a better career and lifestyle.

My mother gave me everything that was within her reach. I grew up in the “projects,” also known as public government housing. Every day I was faced with the challenges of falling into addiction, gang violence, and teen pregnancy. It was so easy for me to fall through the cracks of the system, but I stuck it through.

Being a woman in America has also been challenging. I went to a high school where out of the estimated 120 graduates of the 2017 class, only 15 were girls. I worked my butt off and competed against guys; that prepared me for the harsh realities of life, which is that as a woman in the near future I will earn 75 cents to the man’s dollar, I will have to spend my money on feminine hygiene products, I will have to work longer hours to even be considered for promotion, I will have to tame my hair and wear heels in my work place in order to appease the patriarchal views of this laissez faire society we live in, and sadly, I will not be guaranteed paid maternity leave. These are things that are stacked against me on top of the odds in which I was born into.

Every day, I am stereotyped for being Latina.

While many of my fellow students at Stony Brook have the money to pay for their college tuition plus room and board, I, as many others, must work on campus and inconvenience things at home in order to scrap the money to pay for whatever out of pocket expenses we have to pay for.

No, I am not complaining, but we live in a society where people like me need to take out loan after loan and hope our parent(s) don’t make anything above $35,000 annually in order to get government aid. Our society has made it a business to climb up out of different social/economic classes.

How ironic is it that I have to be broker than broke and spend money I do not even have in order to make it out of the lower class. And I refuse to take out private loans because interests rates are at an all-time high. This is why a lot of students of color cannot continue their education; just the cost of going to school is too much for them to bear.

I am happy that my mother has been able to support me, but that may change because of the clown that was voted into the White House (not by the people of course, but let's all pretend we live in a righteous society where all politicians represent the people.)

As many immigrant families are torn apart because of deportation, First Generation Americans like me have been able to get into college and I am happy for that. We are not doing this to prove a point to anyone, we’re doing it for the love we have for our families and for the belief that we will one day make it into the higher social and economic classes and make America truly diversified.

I will continue my education and I affirm that I will rise not for my own sake, but because I have a purpose and there is a meaning to my struggle, as well as the struggles all First Generation Americans must face.

I hope that 10 years from now, higher education will either be free or at least less expensive, women will be as equal as men, and that all of us can recognize each other through respect and equality. This is my goal after I graduate Stony Brook University, to fully live my life fulfilling the visions of hope I have everyday, but for now, I just need to swim against the tide knowing that I will only be stronger once this is all over.

Those are my concerns, hopes, and dreams as a First Generation Latina college student.

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

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

289180

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

The Best Bagel Recipes For Every Personality Type, In Case You Need Another Excuse To Eat Carbs

I'll approve of pasta for breakfast any day, but this is more socially acceptable.

35951
NBC

I've had times in my life at which I've told myself I need to cut out carbs. Those moments last about a minute or two before I start daydreaming about rice and pasta.

Bagels hold a special place in my heart — for many of my college friends and me, a bagel sandwich was the go-to breakfast after a long night of drinking. Years later, I still love to indulge in the occasional carb-filled breakfast. As much as I love putting in an UberEats order from bed, nothing beats the feeling of pulling some fresh-baked bread or pastries out of the oven.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

101615

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

227028

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Scrolling through Instagram can get stale after a while, especially if you're constantly refreshing in the hopes of finding something new and exciting. Should you be looking to add some inspiration to your timeline in the form of self-love tips, relationship advice, or love secrets, here are 11 relationship coaches you'll LOVE following.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

136215

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

If you are a college freshman, or new to college, this is for you. If you are in a new time in life where you don't know where this change is going to take you, where you might not have your community yet, this is for you. Or even if you are stuck in a rut of everyday life where the new normal is quarantine and isolation, this is also for you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

As Illinois Reaches Its Highest Death Toll Since June, I Urge You To Stay Home And Wear Your Mask

69 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in a twenty-four-hour period, the highest amount since June of this year.

2460
Photo by Noah on Unsplash

As we are approaching colder weather, we are also approaching a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state of Illinois. On October 21, 2020, Illinois recorded its largest daily COVID-19 death toll since June of this year. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 69 deaths of people who contracted COVID-19 were recorded within a twenty-four-hour period, raising the state's death toll to 9,345 since the start of the pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

9 Halloween Role Play Costumes That'll Make Your Partner Want To Jump Your Bones

Whoever thinks dress up is only for Halloween is seriously disturbed.

2635

When "Mean Girls" said "In girl world, Halloween is the one time of the year where you can dress up like a total slut and no one can do or say anything about it," they were damn right. Halloween is the perfect excuse to buy that raunchy costume and show your partner that you're that B. Coming from a very single (yes, very single) 20 something-year-old, I have already got my Halloween costume on lock, and now you will too.

Not only are these 10 Halloween costumes dangerously sexy, but you can wear them in the bedroom whenever you want to give your boo a surprise, yes, year-round. Whoever said you can only dress up on Halloween is seriously disturbed.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ariana Grande released her first single called "positions" since "boyfriend" with Social House and it is a BANGER. This song is absolutely incredible and I am SURE you will agree with me once you listen.

I'm a sucker for a single with a video and that's exactly what we got. Ariana's been pretty quiet during the pandemic, and we all assumed she was working on some new music, and we were right.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Rejection Of Black Lives Matter Mural By Phoenix City Council Doesn’t Stop Gizette Knight

The Phoenix City Council rejected a proposal for a Black Lives Matter Mural in downtown Phoenix. But Gizette Knight says this is not the end.

1338
Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash

Community organizer Gizette Knight, CEO of Reality Dreams LLC, is not giving up on the Phoenix City Council's rejection of the Black Lives Matter mural.

Keep Reading... Show less

For me, chai isn't just what I drink — it's a core part of who I am. Sure, I'll switch it up every now and then with a cup of English Breakfast, Earl Grey, rose, or Darjeeling, but I always come back to chai.

Nearly every tea lover has one tea they repeatedly drink and go back to, whether it's a daily morning ritual or an afternoon pick-me-up. One of my good friends has almost eight cups of jasmine tea every single day — she drinks more tea than water, actually.

Keep Reading... Show less

In a world where physical contact is a liability, the ease of slipping into despair and isolation has never been so tempting. Perhaps the greatest kindness we can lend to one another is reaching out to the people that meant something to us before everything changed. Here's why you should message your friend today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments