Being a first generation American is rewarding but at the same time, it can be stressful, especially when your ideologies are way different than your parents. Here are some things I learned growing up with immigrant parents.
1. Hard work takes you places
Growing up my mom was a landlord, and with that came work. I honestly hated the fact that I had to help fix up the houses and did not understand why I had to work hard while other kids got to play around. It wasn't until I started working as a teenager and realized how much work ethic I had to the point where my supervisors would call me in on my days off, and of course, I happily said yes to working an extra shift or two.
Looking back I had to thank my mom because not only did she made me work hard at an early age she also worked hard herself. Being a single mom is not easy and although she was an immigrant she still made sure my sister and I never went without anything.
2. Never take education for granted
Education was a big priority growing up. It was to the point where my mom would be discontent if I made a grade below a B. I was also made to study for the SAT earlier than most kids and had to do extra homework. I never understood why education had to be a big deal for me. Now that I look back I realized that with society demanding education to work certain careers and minimum wage workers getting treated badly, I now see that my mom did not want me to suffer the way that she had to.
3. Be very selective of who you date and marry
Although I never been married I now realized why my past relationships did not work out. Most guys I had dated did not meet the level of education and work ethic that I have. One thing that I learned growing up is that it is better to struggle on your own than to add someone in your life who does not benefit you in any way.
I now base who I want to be with more on logic than depend solely on my heart because at the end of the day using your brain is how you avoid unpleasant situations.
4. Represent yourself in a way that you don't embarrass your mom
I admit I am not a perfect daughter and I do stupid stuff sometimes. As I gotten older I realize how much reputation is important and that I needed to be more aware of what I do. At the end of the day I know my mom is not perfect but she made sure I was raised to do good for society and I want to make sure that I act that way
5. Life does not have handouts
With all that I learned one main valuable lesson that my mom taught me was that if I want something I had to work for it and if I don't then I get nothing. I use to get jealous of people who had parents that paid for their cars, tuition, and even rent but then I realized that the things I worked for myself were things that I had appreciated more. Me earning things in my life through hard work made me think about why I got what I have in life and every good and bad thing that is given to me I am always aware of.
Life being a first generation child has its ups and downs. Although I was given the responsibility with no choice I can honestly say that I had handled it very well. In the future, my dream and goal is to not only be the first American born in my family to graduate from college but also be the first doctor in my family.