Reflections on starting a new life

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Reflections on starting a new life

Jonas Espinal, Staff Writer

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Coming from parents who were immigrants to this country and had to literally teach themselves English to make money for their family has definitely molded me into the person I am today.

My mom came here when she was 25 years old not knowing any English or anyone in the United States.

She came from the Dominican Republic, all the way to Puerto Rico on a boat.

And I’m not talking about a fancy nice looking boat, I’m talking about a beat up not safe boat.

Her whole motive was to get out of the Dominican Republic, to give her kids the life she never had.

So as my mom sailed to Puerto Rico on a boat with other people aboard my mom had a plan: Make enough money so she can get to New York and bring my soon-to-be father over to the United States as well.

And that’s just what she did.

And then came me.

Growing up I had a heavy accent since my parents were only able to teach me Spanish because that is all they knew well enough to teach me.

It makes you have tough skin. Not only because of a language barrier but because you know of all the struggles your parents went through just for you to have the opportunities you have now.

So I always walked around with a chip on my shoulder and never let anyone mess with me.

This did get me into a lot of fights growing up because I was so insecure about not knowing English as well as the other kids and I hated when kids laughed at me. After awhile, I got my English down and I started to make some new friends.

Sports was a huge outlet for me and it let me express myself. Football in particular was huge for me.

Because football was such a physical game it let me channel my anger from the scrutiny I would get from being picked on because of my English to being treated different because I was a minority in a predominantly white town. But one thing I would always tell myself to calm myself down was “What I’m going through is not even close to what my mom went through for me to be here.”

And that is how I started to look at life.

Sports became my outlet to everything in life and it is how I got to AIC. But in reality, none of this would have happened if it weren’t for my mom deciding to come to the United States. Being different isn’t always bad. I mean being different motivated me and got me a football scholarship.

Ain’t too shabby to me.



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