Dreams Change Once You Get in the United States

(drawing by Grecia Bartolo)
By Jose Lopez
    Dreams change once anybody puts their feet in the United States because things seem not to be the same as was thought. And that is what happened to me.
    When I heard I was coming to the U.S. I was excited because of the way I thought the U.S. was – colorful, easy living, good accommodations, and nice places as is shown in the movies. I thought it would be easy for me. When I arrived, everything looked great to me. I never had flown before and the cities looked fantastic to me even though I did not know how life would be.
    My principal goals before coming to U.S. were just coming here to work. I wanted to make money until I felt wealthy and then go back to my country. I wanted to buy my own house with good accommodations and have my own business of something (like a store). Four months after arriving, I started to work and did not go to school. It was a little hard because I had to do things that I hadn’t done in my country. My first job was cleaning offices. It was part-time but the money I made was good for me. At that time my parents were supporting me. Suddenly I heard they wanted to send me to high school.
    Things seemed different when I knew my parents wanted to send my to high school because my goals were changing. Sometimes I felt a struggle to make a good decision because I did not want to come to school. When I had one year of living in this country, things started to change. I didn’t get along with my parents because they did not understand me. There wasn’t support anymore. There were fights. As a result my mind started to change in a different manner. I had to support myself, but kept coming to school. Thinking of graduating from high school became my purpose, but it was hard because I had to support myself. There was not much time to do all my things like homework and other activities.
    What did I want to do? Earn money for college? And think of going back to your country? But things are difficult to arrange because it is not easy when you live by yourself and make your own money. Learning English was one factor that changed my thoughts. Speaking English made me feel like I belonged to this country even if I wasn’t born here. English helped me know different people; with English I could get better jobs and do well in life.
    In order to do this I still have to finish my education first, but it’s hard and sad because my parents don’t support me. I have to work and get home late at night home, then do my homework, study and get to bed late to sleep for a few hours and come to school. After school go to work again. It makes me feel exhausted and sometimes depressed. Depression sometimes makes me think about quitting school and just working. But I realize that I need to finish school.
    During my first two years of high school I was doing well. I had good grades and I was successful in all my classes. Now that I have had almost three years of being in this country, working and coming to school at the same time make me feel tires and all my dreams want to disappear. I am in 12th grade and because of feeling lonely with nobody helping and guiding me, it depresses me. My grades are looking very bad and my GPA is very low. It seems to be like I won’t graduate. But the only the only choice I have is to try hard to pass all my classes and keep firmly with my goals. I want to go to college and keep doing well to get better things in my life. But now I don’t know if I can make that dream come true.
© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2004 (This page was created by Yesika, Kerry and Gaby)