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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

“This is all my parents wanted for me, why do I feel so guilty?”

This is a struggle that first generation students feel especially when moving away from home. In many immigrant households, family is the center of life. everyone usually lives near each other. I always wondered why my family never moved to different parts of America. All my aunts and uncles live less than an hour away from each other. It wasn’t until I moved halfway across the state from my family that I realized being somewhere new is very difficult and it can make you feel very lonely.

As I navigate a new city that is different from my hometown, I see myself relating to my parents more than ever. It leads to a feeling of guilt. Whenever I start having fun, I start feeling guilty. [I feel guilty] that my parents were never able to experience something like this. I start to imagine younger versions of my parents and how at one point they had hopes and dreams.

I think it’s common to feel guilty that one day we will end up working better jobs than our parents or having better wages. it can really tear the soul, drowning in its sorrow. It is so hard to not feel guilty, but when I step away from the picture and see it for what it really is, I know that I’m making my parents proud, I know that this is what they want for me. When you see it from that perspective it’s easy [to not feel guilty but you don’t need this] feel grateful and know that you’re making every sacrifice your parents made worth it. One other thing you can do is take time out of your day to talk to your parents, I know college sometimes can be hectic, but it can feel like a breath of fresh air talking to your parents.

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Michelle Martinez

San Francisco '25

Just love reading and writing. Leo sun, Gemini moon, and Taurus rising! Love all things makeup and movies, my favorite movie = Call me by your Name, my favorite book = Normal People by Sally Rooney