Being undocumented.. well.. sucks. There are many things that have been denied to me because I don't have that little piece of paper. I can't find another job because I know I wouldn't be able to find one legally. I can't drive a car because I'm unable to get a driver's license. But most importantly, I can't go to school full-time because of the super expensive international tuition I have to pay. And let's not forget the awkward conversations that arise from these such as "Why don't you drive?" "You're still in school? Aren't you 21?" "You've been working there for HOW long??"And while all of these things should make me not want to get out of bed in the morning, I can't help but feel optimistic of what next year will bring.
You see, being a DREAMer is not only about being an undocumented student. It is also about being a fighter. Every day, DREAMers across the country are faced with obstacles because of their status. But instead of giving up, we fight. We fight for our right to be considered American. We fight for our right to an education, for our right to live a normal life. Because we deserve it. We've earned it. And while some people believe we shouldn't be in this country, they will never be able to take away the fact that we are Americans. They can't take away the fact that this is our home.
And while this may shock some people, some good things have come out from being undocumented. This is not to say that I'm glad I'm undocumented, I'd much rather be legal. But I am not ashamed of being a DREAMer. As a result of my status, I value education in a way many U.S. college students don't. Instead of wasting my money on going out and partying, I save it in order to pay for school. I study and work hard to make sure I keep my 4.0. And even though I'm going to have to wake up bright and early next semester, I can't wait to go to school because I love learning. I love homework, I love lectures. But not only has being a DREAMer helped me appreciate school, it has also helped me appreciate life. It has helped me appreciate the things I have; a roof over my head, food to eat, a bed to sleep on. Simple things that many people across the country and the world don't have.
Perhaps I would feel the same way if I wasn't a DREAMer, but there's no way of knowing. Being a DREAMer has made me a better person, and for that I am thankful.
Happy holidays, everyone!