My Struggles

By Yolanda Cristel Rodriguez G  |   From : Mexico  |   School : International High School at Largo

We always get asked, “what’s your biggest struggle?” and I’ve never answered… until today. When I was 10 years old, my mother told me, “You’ll go to the U.S.A and I’ll see you there” I didn’t have much of a choice. I came to the USA without my mother. I hadn’t shared a lot of time with my dad, however, I was really excited; I thought of this as a new experience. It wasn’t, at least not at the beginning. My dad enrolled me in school, and I was scared. Very scared. I studied in Oakland Elementary school. I met a lot of people, but I’ll never forget about; Alex and Karla. Also, Crystal. She was the girl who faked to be my friend, and made fun of me. Even told me bad words, so I could tell it to the teachers. I came to the U.S.A alone, my dad didn’t know the language, nor could he write or read. I got bullied and made fun of, because I couldn’t speak the language. 

As stated before, I came to the U.S alone. I didn’t have my mother with me, and I hadn’t spent time with my father. I struggled a lot, because I hadn’t spent all the time with my mother. When I was in the airplane I kept thinking “Will I be able to be without her?” “Is my dad going to make it easier?” My mother has always been a very important person in my life. And I was only 10, I was scared to be without her, but after 3 months, my mom  finally made it to the U.S. I was really happy. I’ve never felt as happy as I did that day. As soon as I saw her walk into our church, I felt my heart race, I felt my eyes fill with water… I’ve been waiting for this moment. And I finally had her with me. I knew everything was going to be more different. Having my mom with me made everything better, and I even felt like I was actually at home. “I’ve missed you, mi nina” she said.

When I first started school, I was scared. I walked into a really big school. Schools in Mexico aren’t as big as they are here. I met a lot of people, some of them were not as nice as I thought people would. I will never forget Mrs.Martinez, she was a very nice lady with me. She helped me feel welcome when I started classes, she would tell me “You got this, I’m here for you” also Mrs.Carl, Alex, Karla and Jamin. They were the first people that helped me feel welcome. However, there was a girl; Crystal, she was really nice with me–at the beginning. She then showed me her true colors, she started to make fun of me, and would always say “Look, it’s the girl that can’t communicate with us” “It’s the dumb girl” “She can’t understand me” “You immigrant” “Go back to Mexico” It would make me cry, because I was new. All I wanted was to feel welcome. But then, I tried hard, and studied most of the time, to be able to communicate with them… and I made it, I was able to learn the language. 

My dad has always tried to help me. He would always find ways to help, even though he can’t read or write. He used to tell me “You can do this” “Don’t give up, make us proud” every time he used to see me cry, and struggle due to the difficulty I had doing my homework. My dad made me realize that it doesn’t matter how hard things get, or it doesn’t matter that you can’t read or write, always try your best. And always give your best. 

After all this happened, I never gave up. I tried harder, and harder every single time. My trust was always in God. I promised myself that once I learned English very well, I would always help those who needed the help. I would always give my best to help those, because I was once in the position they are now. I also promised myself to never give up, even if things get bad, and I feel like I’m drowning… keep going, and keep trying. In conclusion, I overcame my struggles, and made myself proud.

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