By Mariana Chavez, senior in public relations
I am a first generation. This means I was the first born on American soil. The first one to be a part of 82% of first generations to finish high school. The first one out of 36% of Latinos to go to college. (Link: https://pnpi.org/latino-students/) The first one to have a better life than my family did.
This is a complex topic. As an only child, there was no one to ask for help. No extended family. No one to lean on. My family leans on me. That’s the price to pay.
The idea of being a first generation is exciting. It’s scary. But most of all, it is worthwhile.
I get the best of both worlds. I get to stay true to my Latinx roots and learn about American culture. On the flip side, there isn’t a middle ground. I am “too Hispanic” for American culture. I am “too white” for Hispanic culture.
Growing up as a first generation is a unique experience. No one has the same experience as you, regardless if they are first gen. Each first generation is fighting its own battles.
My experience involved learning how to translate for my family. This included official documents, doctor visits, and being put on the spot with it. It also involved learning about the sacrifices that my family made.
The way I describe it makes it seem as if it’s something negative. It isn’t. But it also isn’t a walk in the park. It involves determination and a desire to succeed. It involves getting up no matter how many times you want to give up.
The future depends on me. The future of my loved ones, myself, and those who have yet to be born. I am paving the path for future generations to come.
The goal of being a first generation is to not become another statistic. (Link: https://firstgen.naspa.org/#theneed) The goal is to move forward.
Being a first generation fills me with pride. It is something that is not easy. Although it’s been challenging, to say the least, I am excited about what the future holds.