I Am Not An Immigrant

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I am not an immigrant. I have been living in this country ever since I was a newborn infant. My brother, sister, and I are all first generation citizens trying to make our parents proud. Both of my parents were born in Mexico, and at an early age left to the United States. They are now living happily in the U.S as citizens. Growing up I only spoke one language, Spanish. Being Mexican this was the only way I could communicate up until kindergarten. Although it was such a long time ago, I remember how hard it was for me to adjust into a new culture. I know I had a strong accent, and I was sometimes ashamed of it. On occasion I remember accidentally speaking Spanish to my classmates. “Did you finish your homework?" “Si, lo compl-”. “I mean, yeah, all done.” I often got these confused looks on their face whenever this happened. The next year in first grade I became accustomed to English. I no longer spoke Spanish to my parents. When the realization that I could no longer speak Spanish hit my parents, they were shocked. Personally I was also very disappointed that I lost a big part of my culture. In a school with a general population of Hispanics I would love to be able to converse with them in Spanish. I often get people asking if I speak Spanish and I tell them why I can’t speak, but can understand what the words in Spanish mean. All because I did not want to look different in a school where people were primarily white back then I lost a valuable tool. I don’t recall many
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