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To Children of Immigrants…

Children of Immigrants,

Your parents didn’t grow up here but came here to give you a better life so that you could have all things that they didn’t have. You had food that tasted just as good as burgers and fries but was scared to take it to school because of what the other kids would say to you. You would avoid talking to anyone in school because you speak a different language at home, and knowing what to say can come as a struggle sometimes. You’ve been called ugly because of the color of your skin, or told you were “exotic” or “pretty for a foreign girl.”

You’ve got all these comments thrown your way and all you’ve wanted to do was fit in. You get looked at funny for the dark skin that you have, the hooded eyes, the greasy hair. It’s hard balancing both sides of your culture: the culture that you grew up in, the one you’ve been surrounded around all your life, and the one that the nation has. Even though now the nation is considered to be a melting pot of cultures, you probably still get hate for yours. I should know. As a fellow child of immigrants, I know how hard it is to do that. I find it hard to create a balance between the culture that I grew up in, and the one that I’m surrounded by in school.

To my children of immigrants who were (or still are told) those things, know that you are loved. Your experiences are valid, your feelings are valid.  You are a beautiful, strong child of immigrant parents, who is intelligent and can do anything that you put your mind to. Your parents came here from a totally different country to pursue other opportunities, and to give you the option to pursue the opportunities that are open to you. You are a resilient college student, who is doing their best to make your parents proud.

For those of you that have one immigrant parent, you’ve still been told those things. You’ve also gotten comments about your food and your features. But know your experiences are also valid. You are a smart, strong, and beautiful person who has gone through so many hardships to be heard. You are still a person who is resilient and showing the world that you can do anything that you put your mind to. You still have personality traits that make you an amazing person that is more than the color of your skin or your culture. Don’t discount the color of your skin and the way your hair looks though, they are still a part of who you are! Wear them proudly, they make you, you!  

Having to choose between two cultures should not be a mutually exclusive thing. You should be able to have two cultures and be able to create and keep a balance between them.

So, to my children of immigrants, keep doing what your doing, prove the world wrong, and be the best version of yourself, the one that embraces both your immigrant culture and the culture that is around you.
You’re going to do great things in life, I know it.

A fellow child of immigrants

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Shreya Jacob

Winthrop '23

Winthrop Her Campus Contributor; Middle School Major
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