1. Your parents were always incredibly hardworking. You grew up watching them and learned the value of hard work, which you then applied to everything in your life. Skipping class or not doing homework was not an option in your household. Because your parents did not come all the way to America for you to slack or waste their hard-earned money.
2. You could never, ever, ever leave the house without grabbing a jacket to take with you.
3. That embarrassing moment when you go to microwave last night’s dinner and end up stinking up the whole entire school cafeteria. From that day on you insisted your mother only pack you a PB&J sandwich like the other kids and she never understood why.
4. “Where is that accent from” is a question that literally every single person that met your parents asked.
5. You never understood the kids who didn’t like going home during college breaks. For you going home meant feeling like you belonged in a community again and all the loneliness of the last semester just melted away. Your family also welcomed you back with food since you looked so, so skinny even after facing the harsh reality of the freshman 15.
6. When you got the chance to go back to the homeland you, of course, had to spend the day with your grandparents. There was not a moment that whole day that you were not eating. But you still loved it no matter how full you were. Because you never knew when the next time you would be able to see them again would be.
7. That moment when you’re speaking half English/half native language in public and people give you weird looks when they only pick up on a few words. I remember very specifically growing up I called my dad, Pai, which means dad in Portuguese. It also sounds exactly like the word Pie in English. This lead to a few misunderstandings and awkward moments.
8. Knowing that all your successes in life were not only just yours, they were also your parents. So they always made sure to show you how proud they were. They worked so incredibly hard to bring you to America so you could have the education and opportunities they never had.
9. Your parents refused to speak English at home. So a typical conversation with them involved you talking to them in English and them responding back in your native language and trying to force you to do the same.
10. You are proud of your immigrant roots but most importantly no matter what you are an American and proud to be one. And you would never ever wish for any other parents than your own. No matter how embarrassing they can be.