And here it is–I double majored in Spanish and Chicana/o Studies graduating Cum Laude from UCLA. 10 years later and I finally have my diploma. Being a mortuary school dropout, to being in community college on and off for six years, losing my grandmother, being in a toxic relationship where I was told I focus too much on my education, and owing almost a grand in fees to UCLA, it’s finally in my hands and I literally cried. It’s so surreal cause I never believed this day would happen. Thank you to everyone who actually supported me on this decade long journey.
It’s important that immigrant children get degrees. That we become the fruit that our parents have harvested through their struggle, the ones they’ve nurtured, and fed, and watered and loved and lived for. Mami, this degree is for you. The strawberries can no longer claim you as their own.
Because I was taught to stay away from certain styles because they were too “mexican”. With phrases like “the bigger the hoop, the bigger the hole” when I loved wearing big earrings. Being told that red hair against my brown skin looked “ghetto” instead of fierce and bold. Wearing stylish flannels like the pretty pastel haired girls on tumblr and being told I look like a “chola”. Working hard to get rid of my slang because society taught me that it was “unflattering”. That bright red lips were too much. That my natural intense brows are now a makeup “fad”. When in reality all this shit was made up by people that want to put us down for claiming our own identity.