Before you read on, choose an answer for the following questions (yes or no): Did you choose where you were born? Was it your will to wake up today?
I also did not choose where I wanted to be born. I live my life like everyone else, just trying to make the best with what I got. By chance I was born in Mexico, but by the will and ambition of my parents, I grew up in the U.S.A.. My parent told me that I did not have a future back home, so that’s why they decided to enter this country and stay permanently by overstaying their visa permission. Some would argue that if I wanted to enter this country correctly, we should’ve waited like everyone else. That is a very reasonable perspective. But, my parents, and many other families back home in the same situation, did not have the heart to see their child suffer with the pain of hunger in their stomach. I guess that’s why I knew from an early age that I owed this country my life. I want to do right by the law and this country, but before there was no choice.
I have worked hard here, and paid my dues. I would argue that I have earned my stay here. Donald Trump, and many others who voted for him, would say that, “No matter what, you need to go back. This country is not yours.” I think I’m fine with that decision. I used to be scared of losing everything I had here. But now, I will be graduating from a university in a few weeks. I have gained so much knowledge and experience here that I am not afraid. I have the tools to help my community do better. I know I can hold my own anywhere I go. I just needed that first opportunity to help myself. I think Trump and his supporters are right when they say, “They are taking our jobs.” They fear me. I would fear me. I’m the living walking proof of what they fear most. They’re not scared of the man who cuts their grass, squeezes their fresh orange juice, or plucks their vegetables for them. They are after me because I’m going to school and getting educated.
I’m waking up and going to a dream job right now. I work for a multibillion dollar company. I competed against 5,000 applicants this past summer for an internship position. I competed against their sons and daughters, who attend USC, UCLA, Yale, Stanford, NYU, UC Davis, and other students from across the world. I attended a Cal State because that was all I could afford. I beat every single one of them because only 40 were picked as interns for the summer, and only I got offered a full-time position stay, with full-benefits, a 401K, paid vacation, sick days, and a nice salary as an entry level employee. And, I can see so many opportunities to move up. It’s endless. I’m younger and hungrier than their fathers that are working in this industry. I would be scared too.
I know I’m not special, or more important than people that were born here. They didn’t decide where they wanted to be born either. I do know that they could’ve chosen any of those other applicants, but instead they chose me. I can be thrown back to my country of birth any day, and my mind would not be disturbed. I saw how far I could go here. The difference between Trump and I, or his followers, is that I wouldn’t build a wall to keep people out. I’m not scared of competition. I would teach my children about what it means to be hungry. I decided to go to college for one specific reason. I wanted to compete against America’s best and brightest, and I wanted to prove to myself that I could stand up and compete. So, back to that argument that I should’ve waited like everyone else. Would you wait on your dream or goals because so many other people are trying to fulfill theirs? Life doesn’t wait for your turn to be up next.