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

I hope as a first generation Asian-American college student I have made my parents proud. Growing up was not the easiest for me as a cultural and language barrier definitely exists between my parents and me. It’s challenging for me to express to them directly how sorry, how grateful, and how much I love them. So here I am writing it for the world to read instead.

I wish I could tell them how sorry I am for being ashamed and embarrassed because their English was not the best. I was so embarrassed that they worked menial jobs and found it hard to say what my parents did for a living when people asked. I am extremely appreciative that they worked so hard to send my brother and me to college. Now, I am the one ashamed to admit that I was embarrassed because without my parents’ hard work I would not be where I am today.

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I wish I could tell them I’m sorry that I used to compare our family to others. It irritated me so much that our family was so different from others. It made me so upset when my mom would prioritize work over me. I couldn’t understand why at the time she would prefer to work overtime over spending time with me. Now I know that she wanted to earn enough money so my brother and I could live comfortably and she could afford to buy things that we wanted.

I wish I could tell them how I wish they did more for themselves. Their lives revolved around my brother and me. From kindergarten all the way to high school, my dad would drive me to school every day, and, when he could, he would pick me up. When my mom didn’t have work, she would always drive me to and from school so that I wouldn’t have to take the bus. I wish I could tell them how thankful I am for that and I wish I was more considerate of the little things they did then. I hope that now that my brother and I are now in college, they are taking the time for themselves to properly rest.

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I wish I could tell them how much I love them for giving me the opportunity to go to college and pursue what I want. I wish that it was possible to repay them for all the tough love and support they have given me. I wish I had the words and courage to express to them how much I love them and how much I want them to be happy and to not worry too much about my brother and me.

It’s not easy having a cultural and language barrier between my parents and me, but growing up I realized they just express their love in a different way. It took me a few years before I could learn to understand why my circumstances were so different from others. I realize now that the environment they grew up in contrasted so much to the way my brother and I are living now; it’s no surprise as to why we have a communication barrier. Despite all the hardships growing up and being unable to understand the love language my parents were showing me, I’m glad that I get it now. And I hope that one day, my feelings of appreciation and love will reach them.

Tiffany is a first year pre-Psych and Brain Sciences major from San Francisco. She is a huge fan of kpop, studio ghibli movies, and webtoons. She loves to penpal and read whenever she can find the time. You can always find her daydreaming as she stares up at the sky, whether its during the day or at night.
Adar Levy

UCSB '19

Adar is a fourth-year student at UC Santa Barbara, studying Sociology. She is an avid creative writer, podcast listener, music enthusiast, and foodie. Loving everything from fashion and lifestyle to women's empowerment, she hopes to work for a major women's publication one day. See what Adar is up to on Instagram @adarbear.