Student Perspective: My story
Outstanding Graduating Senior, Latin American Studies
When I turned fourteen my parents decided that my brother and I needed to come to San Diego for our education.
I remember being afraid and also excited at the same time. We went to visit our new house, but to my surprise, our new home was a small old trailer shared by four people at the same time. It was difficult living in such a tiny place with multiple people. I remember the feeling of the breath of my brother who slept next to me every night.
I will never forget this time in my life because I left my friends, house, and school in Tijuana, but most importantly I lost my confidence to speak with others. I remember one occasion when we were so financially broke, that we did not have the opportunity to have internet access. In high school, they provided me with a tablet to do my homework but ironically I was not able to use it for my homework because I did not have internet access. I was always raised to be strong and keep going even with the difficulties or challenges of life.
At one moment during this time, we had to return to Tijuana, Mexico. I remember how hard it was to wake up every day at 2 a.m. to start waiting in line at the border. I remember it was so difficult to be in the line, standing there for two or three hours. For a high school and even a college student, there is so much time standing in line — the cold, hunger, poor sleeping quality, and trying your best to keep going with all the activities of the day.
This was very difficult, but my education was the most important and valuable opportunity to succeed in life. This means that I would do everything to keep going and continue with my education to have a better quality of life for me and my family.
Being a transfronterizo student is a very interesting and challenging experience. I believe that transfronterizo students are not well recognized by many professors or teachers. Sometimes, the teachers or professors assume during a lecture or class that we are bored or we are not paying enough attention because we are yawning or nodding. The reality is that we are so tired because we wake up really early in order to be on time to school.
I had this transfronterizo student way of living for almost two years. But over time my life got better. My parents got involved at the parent center at my brother’s school, so they were able to give me the support that I needed to begin a new chapter in my life.
I am proud to say that during my high school years I took regular English and AP courses, and I was M.E.C.H.A. president, involved in the ASB, a member of the program Wahupa Upward Bound, and I graduated with honors and the most surprising factor was that I was accepted by SDSU.
This last event was the most surprising because I am the first-generation college student of all of my extended family.
After four years at SDSU, I will be graduating this spring 2022 with two majors and one minor in just four years. Also, as an Outstanding Graduating Senior for the Latin American Studies class of 2022 and based on my outstanding academic record, I have earned Summa Cum Laude designation.
All of these accomplishments did not stop here because I plan to continue preparing myself to become a high school teacher in the bilingual teaching credential single subject program here at SDSU. I believe that being in one moment of my life as a transfronterizo student helped me to realize that I want to continue my education and I would love to pursue a master’s degree focusing on transfronterizo students in the San Diego-Tijuana region.
I plan to continue helping my community and future low-income and first-generation college students to raise their goals and potential. I am grateful for the person that I am right now and for the one that I will become in the next chapter of my life thanks to my parents, family members, professors, mentors, and EOP counselors.