The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Breaking the border within

Rosaura de la Cruz

Rosaura de la Cruz | Contributor | [email protected]

My boyfriend is studying child psychology and will soon get his associate degree. One day while we were studying together, he tried out something on me that he’d learned in his child psychology class — word association. He asked me to say the first thing that came to mind when I heard the word “support.”

Immediately I said, “Bra.”

He grinned and told me to think of something serious, so I said, “Foundation.” Then he asked why I didn’t say “family.” The truth was because support is not something that comes to mind when I think about my family. They don’t support my choice to attend college.

My parents came from Juarez, Mexico, and Guatemala City, thousands of miles away, and they faced many hardships to get to the United States. They immigrated to live better lives, which they now have, but they still don’t understand the importance of education.

My dad never finished junior high and has been a labor worker since he was 17, though my mom did graduate from high school. It was the furthest she’d got into her education because she got pregnant, first with my brother Roberto when she was 19, then my sister Claudia one year later.

They were followed by my brother Martin Jr, then by a set of twin boys, Alejandro and Alberto, my older sister Amanda, and then me. To top off the family tree, my parents divorced when I was 7.

Seven generations of de la Cruzes and not one has gone off to college — not because any of us did poorly in school or on our SATs. It was because we didn’t have support from our parents to extend our knowledge, challenge ourselves and prepare for the real world.

So when I decided to attend college, my parents were shocked. They kept asking why and what I would do there. Most importantly, they asked how I would afford college because they had no spare money to help me pay for it.

I felt that going to college was something I needed to do for myself. After watching my family struggle and work day in and day out, I knew that getting a degree had become something I had to do. I could be an example of what they could have been and even be a role model to my siblings. So after graduating from high school in June 2012, I signed up for general education classes two days a week at Solano Community College, a 15-minute drive from my family’s home.

I could handle that, I thought.
Kamagra Oral Jelly has been presented by its maker Ajanta Pharma so as to bond the achievement brought by their non specific item discount cialis Kamagra pills. It also provides a cheaper alternative to original viagra generic uk products. Apart from hormonal therapy and medications, there are some precautions or safety tips to use kamagra oral jelly is one such solution which is considered levitra 20mg australia to be one of the most popular and effective prescription treatments for men suffering from impotence. Kamagra is one among some worthwhile treating alternate for improving the quality of levitra without prescription erection at the time of love making practice.
But that fall my life took a complete turn as I began college. I had to get a job pushing carts at Foodmaxx just to pay for school. And there were so many bills — registration fees, books, pamphlets, online websites — that were needed for classes I had to learn how to use, too. It was crazy.

I had a school schedule, a work schedule, and I had to make time for labs and homework and study groups. I had entered a whole new world that I knew nothing about, and the hardest part was that I couldn’t turn to my parents. They told me that I was changing and looked stressed. I started to sink. I felt like a small fish in a big pond — lost. I was so unsure of what I wanted to do or be. I became scared of financial debt, of losing my friends and losing myself.

In 2013, my mom moved to the Bay area to take a new job and asked me to come with her. Her advice was to take a break from school, find a cool job in the city and have fun. My dad told me to take a break and work for a while, or find a rich husband because, he said, that’s all women were good for anyway. Those were my two choices for my future: work or marry rich.

I sat in the quad one day at Solano College, trying to catch a breath of fresh air, and while I was looking around, I recognized everyone — people from high school, junior high, neighbors, old friends. Fairfield was so small, and everyone seemed to be just hanging out, with no majors selected or career goals. My head was spinning as I realized that this was where I would spend the next five to 10 years. I couldn’t breathe.

I had to really think about myself and my future. I spent a semester trying anything and everything that interested me — I took classes in architecture, design, speech, health. I was everywhere trying to find a place where I could fit in. Then I found it. As I sat down and wrote a list of things I want to do, I realized that I wanted to write, and I wanted to be heard.

So I went on another search for a school that would benefit me and teachers who actually want to see students like me succeed, and when I found it, I knew everything would change. When I told my dad, he said, “Sacramento? Why so far? What you gonna do over there? That’s a lot of gas money you spend.”

But I didn’t care how far away Sacramento was from Fairfield, or how much it would cost in gas. I wanted to do this for myself and be happy. So I did. I enrolled in journalism classes at Sacramento City College and discovered that journalism was the perfect fit for me.

Suddenly the pond that I was swimming in didn’t feel so big, and I came across bigger and better opportunities. In January, I started an internship for ESPN radio. I was ecstatic. My dad always asks, “Why you go back? They don’t pay you for nothing!” But he doesn’t understand what this means for me, that this experience will prepare me for my future career. He might not ever understand, but my decisions in life are not about him — they’re about me.

I’ve grown, and everyone can see it. My mom came to visit me one day and she stared at me for a long time. “I’m very proud of you,” she said, “and I wish there was more that I could do for you, but I know you’re strong and very smart.”

It was the first time that I felt that she really knew how hard it was for me to be away from her, living my own life and going to college. But her words made me feel strong and happy. They were just what I needed to know that I can do this, and I will.

Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express