Monday, June 30, 2008

Finding others

I have a job. It allows me to support myself and pay for my schooling and that's all people really need to know. Only close personal friends know about what I have to do, but I meet people at this job. I've met others like me who are unlawful residents and they aren't aware of some of the options available to them. Today I talked to someone about this. I'll reframe from including personal details, but the conversation started with the simple question of why the person wasn't going to college. I talked to them about it and not having papers was one of the reasons. Low self esteem, lack of motivation and just too busy were also reasons they used. In order to break them from their self loathing coffin, I basically outed myself to them and told them that I don't have papers either and that I still manage to go to school and work. Their first reaction is that they can't believe I'm a beaner because I'm so americanized. They have a hard time believing me, but eventually they put the pieces together. I explain to them that while they wont qualify for scholarships and get help from the government, they can still go to school. I tell them how I started going to school taking classes at night from 7 to 10 p.m. while working in the day time. I talked about how they can attend school by paying their way through because they qualify as AB 540 students. In their disbelief and amazement they begin to reconsider their current life choices. I asked them what kind of career they would like to have. At first they're not sure, but ideas start to flow to the point that they can't even decide on one single career aspect. It weird to meet other people who are or were in the same situation as me. Depressed, apathic and just working a mindless job wasting away life. Life is not meant to be spent working everyday just to make ends meat. Like me and all the other undocumented students they have a chance to better themselves and their families by going to school and making something of themselves. All they need is a little push and the right information. It's comforting to know that your not the only one out there, that there's more like you facing the same struggle, working for a dream. I know that's how I felt when I realized I wasn't alone.