Humans of Yonder (HOY) 10/15/17
You know, my parents are pretty chill. The moment my mom hears me cough during our skype conversations, she instantly tells me to go to the doctor, buy some medicine, and get some rest. My dad is a typical dad. I frequently update him about my life and the reply I receive is a variation of “Okay” and “Do you need money?” Academics-wise, they usually don’t ask any questions about it. They definitely care about my studies but maybe they know college is a huge struggle or maybe it’s because they trust that I already know what they expect of me. Either way, I’ve never experienced any explicit family pressures. I specify “explicit” because as the youngest in a family of 6 and first gen immigrant, I have a lot to do.
My family moved to the US in search of that elusive “American Dream” which basically says that anyone can achieve anything in America through hard work and dedication. To be fair, this is true for some people. But what they don’t tell you is if you’re not in the privileged bracket, then there are a few hurdles along the way.
What they don’t tell you is that your parents have to work at essentially dead-end jobs for most of their lives. They don’t tell you about the pain of coming home from college and seeing your parents age from stress. Nor the pain of realizing that their whole day consists of working from 7am — 7pm…and then it’s eat dinner, shower, sleep, repeat…I don’t remember the last time they had a vacation.
They don’t tell you about the frequent fights between them because of financial issues. They don’t tell you that you have to hear your own dad muttering in the shower, cursing this place and how he regrets moving here. They don’t tell you the times your parents come to you in tears to say “I’m so sorry for this”, embracing you so hard that you actually feel the hardship and burden bestowed onto them. They don’t tell you that your mom might reach 60 years old and not even have the joy of owning her first car.
I chose Mechanical Engineering because of the opportunities it offered and the chance for greater social mobility. I want to have a career where my parents don’t have to work as hard anymore. Work somewhere where they actually want to work and love the work they do. Give them the opportunity to take a vacation that they wholeheartedly deserve. Be able to pay their bills and buy them a house or condo and their own cars. I don’t mind if I have to sacrifice a huge portion of my salary for them…as long as my parents are happy and can live comfortably.