By Renee Larrauri
Very few people that come from less advanced countries have the opportunity to study abroad. I am a 17-year-old Mexican girl studying in the United States and I am facing a conflict. I think a lot of people in the same situation as me are encountering this as well.
When I first arrived in the United States as a freshman in high school, I had the mindset that I was going to return to Mexico after I finished my studies. I entered a school that was very academically challenging for me. The more I learned and started to understand the system the school was managing, my eyes were opened. I realized that I am in a developed country, studying in a school where people possess a genuine love of learning. The more time I spend with teachers that are devoted to helping their students and peers who are eager to learn, the more I hope to stay rather than return to Mexico.
In history, we are learning about the first president of the United States and the components of the government. By learning this, even though we have only had three classes, I can see how advanced the US is compared to Mexico. In the way of thinking, acting, and just living their daily life. And I realized that they have developed a very different and beneficial mindset to the way they move in life.
I am very interested in pursuing law as a career. When I think about my future and having a job I can’t imagine working in Mexico, I don’t even consider it. When I think about having a successful career in whatever I chose to do, my mind directly connects to staying in the United States.
It seems like the more educated I am, I realize that my country has significant problems on multiple levels and is limited in what it can offer. It is really sad saying that because Mexico is part of me and I love it very much and all my life was there. But now that I have moved to study abroad, it is hard to think about going back. Going back would mean that I would have to give up everything.
All decisions in life have pros and cons but if I go to Mexico, life for a girl like me would be to go to college, get a degree that I am probably never going to exercise, get married and build a family. It doesn’t sound bad at all and also it doesn’t have to be that way, it is not going to be that way for all my friends but, for most of them, it is.
When I speak to my mom about this, she tells me that it doesn’t have to be that way for me, that I can be a working girl and build my own business or have a great job but it is hard to not follow the crowd. People make it seem easy but, it all goes back to the underdeveloped country. People think differently. Being a successful woman there is marrying someone with a great job and having children. My mom tells me that it is not like that but from my perspective right now and for what I have seen and analyzed in my life in Mexico is that those things are what people celebrate. Maybe it is worth it, to go back to my country and have the life I was destined to have when I was born there.
That is the conflict that I think young students like me, who come from less privileged countries and have the opportunity to study in a developed country, are now encountering. We don’t want to return to our country because we moved to better possibilities and to a place that has more to offer. We prefer to stay than to go back and try to navigate our convoluted systems.
I think about my future and I see life in the US. Where I have a good job and just living in a more privileged country. I don’t have to deal with a lot of things I would have to deal in Mexico with, like corruption or delinquency, etc.
I have a conflict about whether to stay here in the US and build my life from ground zero in a first world country, or go back to Mexico and live the life I was born in. I also could go back and try to improve the system, make it better. Someone has to do it, why not me? If nobody has the strength to do it, it will continue in its negative trajectory. The same corrupt people that have monopolized the country for their benefit are going to stay and lead the whole country down.
I know a lot of foreign young students are living in the same dilemma. I know I am young but I must start thinking about my future. I can’t go back to Mexico and act blindly about its situation. I would have to do something about it, yet I also don’t know if I can carry all that responsibility.