Yareli Tellez-Arce | Contributor
My whole life has always been different than “ordinary” kids. I wouldn’t say dramatically different, but very different. I didn’t learn or understand English until I was 6. As much as I tried to fit in, I never could. My color and race has made this a hard world to live in. I come from a Hispanic ethnicity and am a woman so I get put aside by many people. My parents both migrated here from Mexico and have always had it hard. Although they now both have their citizenship, they still have the appearance of a “hispanic”, or so other people say they do. It drives me crazy seeing that many people still believe that only one of them has the power. I am both optimistic and pessimistic about my future as well as for my children’s future. In my own eyes, I see everyone the same, including different races and women. Living in America being Mexican- American, especially being a woman has been hard and no matter how much we try to change that, it is never going to happen because of the society we live in.
My name is Yareli Esperanza Tellez- Arce. My middle name stands for hope and is also my maternal grandmother’s name. My parents were born and raised in Zacatecas Mexico, a northern-central state and northwest of Mexico. When they were my age, maybe a little younger, they came to the United States for better education and working opportunities. They got the education they needed and the jobs they wanted with many, many setbacks. One thing they didn’t know was what place they were going to, what people they were going to and how this would later affect their own lives and the lives of their future children. I was born to young parents who were at the time maybe considered middle class citizens; and raised here in Aurora, Colorado.
When I was born, we lived in the basement with my other grandmother, my paternal grandmother. At this time, my mom had just graduated high school, (exactly a month) and was not working quite yet and my dad had just started working in electricity. He provided for my mother and I. As a year or two went by, my parents saved and saved all the money they could so they could buy a house; when I turned two years old we moved into a four bedroom house down the street from Hinkley and have now been living there for 14, almost 15 years.
Being so young and not knowing what they were doing, my parents tried their best to give me everything they could; sometimes it would be a lot and sometimes it would only be a little, but I was more than fine with that. At the age of three, my mother had my little sister and soon after she began working. Now they could provide both for my little sister and I. When I started school, I was very intelligent, more than what people “thought”. I would always prove them wrong, do my homework, get straight A’s and try my hardest. During my elementary years, my mom had to have surgery to remove a pituitary tumor. This was my main inspiration to my decision that I made in middle school that I wanted to become a nurse; a physician’s assistant or a nurse midwife.
Ever since then, I have always tried to strive for the best to achieve my goals. In my opinion, I feel like my family is now considered a middle class family. Although we sometimes struggle, with hospital bills, utility bills, etc, my family had still tried to keep me on top so that my sister and I could become something for them.
As I have mentioned before, my parents migrated here from Mexico, so at some point in their lives they were considered “immigrants”. Immigration is a very critical topic to me, as of most of my family came to the United States like that. According to www.usnews.com, Immigrants take up to 15 percent of the United States population. The top source of immigrants being Mexico to many other sources such as, most of Central America China, India, & Philippines. One thing that many people don’t understand is that all these people who come in illegally from other countries come here for a better life. Many come from poverty to strive and have enough to live on, to flee war, to get a better education and so many other reasons. I have empathy for those students that want an education like me, but who were brought here before they even had a memory of where they were born and are or were relying on DACA. This was their closest way of being able to get the same education as the rest of the students that were born in the U.S. during and after those 13 years of school.
These students are at risk of being deported back to a country they have never been to and losing all their opportunities of being something bigger than their family could be. I do think this is a critical topic because as well as my parents, there are many people struggling to become better but they are taken away their opportunities due to our society that revolves around racism, prejudice, stereotypes and selfishness.
Being a woman is hard. As soon as you come out of the womb, the only thing people think of is how we are basically going to be maids for them. How we have to take care of ourselves so we don’t get raped or called names, how we have to learn to cook and clean, how we are going to become baby factories, how we need to depend on a man to provide, and many more other things. I was created to be a woman who does much more than that and are basically the most powerful gender. Although men do so many things that are underappreciated, women still go through a variety of different things a man will never in his life have to experience.
Growing up a female has had so many ups and downs, and my road to success, has had many curves and bumps. I wasn’t what an “average” girl was supposed to be. I was too tall compared to the rest of the girls, I was too big. Girls would always call me fat and big and would always make fun of me. This continued all through Middle school, which was when I began with eating problems. I didn’t have any disorder nor was I diagnosed with anything, but I would hate to eat. I had the idea stuck in my head that if I ate, I would become fat again and I couldn’t even stand to look at food. Dosomething.org states that approximately 24 million Americans struggle with eating disorder. Out of these 24 million, some of them are females just like me, who would get bullied into having this state of mind, or felt pressured by Instagram models, T.V, boys, & magazines. Furthermore, women are stereotyped and misunderstood. They get told that they have to become a housewife who takes care of the kids, who doesn’t work and can’t become what they want. This is very upsetting and I have personally been a victim of these stereotypes. I believe women can do so much more than what they are put to do so. For the rest of my life, I will still believe this and try my best to fight back and show that these things are not true.
Growing up, I have experienced many things. I grew up to immigrated parents, to racism, to being a second class citizen. I continue to be both optimistic and pessimistic about my future as well for my children’s. I see everyone the same, including different races and women. Living in America being Mexican- American, especially being a woman has been hard and no matter how much we try to change that, it is never going to happen because of the society we live in.
- “Immigration in America by the Numbers.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, www.usnews.com/news/data-mine/articles/2018-05-01/immigration-in-america-by-the-numbers.
“11 Facts About Eating Disorders.” DoSomething.org | Volunteer for Social Change, www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-eating-disorders.