In this day and age, there seems to be an intense debate about immigrants and their rights. Regardless of your political stance on today’s issues, I think we can all collectively agree that being a foreigner brings many more troubles and worries than it seems to.
With Brexit, the Trump presidency, and other major political conflicts going on, I think we’re forgetting that we, the immigrants, have been dealing with problems and hardships longer than most of the people realize. It’s not just political for us, it’s also personal and most importantly emotional. Being an immigrant myself, I believe that there are some things that most of us around the globe can relate to, even in the slightest of ways.
1. Your identity will be uniquely yours.
Whether your parents are from different countries or you moved someplace else as a child, your identity will be comprised of at least two different cultures. You will be surrounded by them and they will become yours, no matter if you’re a citizen, a national or just a resident. Your new country’s culture will be your culture. It will become your new home and the people living there, your family. Don’t let anyone tell you that being an immigrant makes you anything less than a new citizen of your chosen country. Stand up for yourself and your roots. Be proud of them.
2. You’ll be teased by a lot of people.
Some people are simply not used to difference and variety. Some people enjoy living in their own bubbles and not experiencing what other cultures and countries have to offer. They will mess with you, some as a joke, but some as a genuine dislike to who you are, and you have to learn to let it go. No matter what, don’t let it get to you. You are uniquely you and no one can stop you from being the wonderful human being that you are. Moreover, in most cases, the people that criticize you the hardest tend to be the ones that admire you the most.
3. You will never truly feel like you fit it.
While all of it sounds wonderful and inspirational, there’s also this side effect that you will never truly fit in. Anywhere. For those of us mixed children and immigrants that do fit in, congratulations and we’re all proud of you. However, most of us will struggle with being different for the majority of our lives. We will always feel like we’re on the outside of our friend group, or that we don’t assimilate as well as others. I want you all to know that it’s okay. One day, you will find a place or people that will make you feel like you belong. No matter where you are.
4. Some people will find you exotic and some will judge you.
Being an immigrant can be seen as one of two things, you’re either the center of everyone’s attention in a positive or negative way. Some people will want to be friends with you just for the purpose of seeming educated and open-minded, whereas some of them will choose to judge you because it’s easier to hate something you don’t know than get to know it, right? This stays true to everyone, not just the people of mixed race.
For all the people like me, I just hope that we can all remember that it doesn’t say anything about us, the children of hard working foreigners, but it speaks volumes about the people judging a book by its cover, be it in an overly fascinated or discriminatory way. Remember that.
5. You will become the best version of yourself you could ever be.
No matter which circumstances apply to you, you will be raised with such a variety of cultures that you will become the most educated and open-minded one amongst your friends and colleges. It will be scary at times and you will most certainly feel out of place more than once, but remember that you’re the descendant of strong and independent people that wanted to give you the best life that they possibly could. There’s nothing that anyone could say or do to change that.