58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 58: Janae Nevarez

The “American Dream” is a dream that varies from person to person. Although most associate it with fame and wealth, for others it can be the freedom of religion or access to good health care. However, regardless of the rational, people from all over the world travel to America in hopes of attaining this dream. Unfortunately the idealistic dreams often come to a shatter once the reality of trying to attain it begins. Nonetheless, people everyday come to the “land of opportunity” year after year in hopes of fulfilling their dreams, both for themselves and for their family.

Although many people are brought to a sudden realization that America isn’t everything they hoped for, there are many cases in which people do attain everything they came fore. Forty years ago my grandparents decided to move their family from Mexico to the United States in hopes of creating opportunities for their four boys. The move was not easy and for the first few years they lived on a very tight budget, they soon began to reach the dreams they had. Not only was my grandpa able to find work and find favor in his boss’s eyes, but all four of the boys were able to receive good education and graduate from universities. Now all of the boys are professionals in their work fields and are able to provide the same opportunities for their children that they probably would not have been able to, if they were not in America.

Likewise my mother’s parents decided that by coming to America their children would grow up with more options and opportunities. They also struggled for the first few years to get settled, They lived in a one room apartment in Los Angeles. Both of my grandparents worked two jobs and my Grandpa went to school at night. Luckily after a couple of years all their hard word and struggles began to pay off. My grandfather got his degree as did all of his children. They began to make much more money than they had in the Philippines, and entered into a social class they would never had dreamed of being in before they made they move to the United States. Now all of their children’s children are able to attend good schools and colleges, all due to their decision to leave it all behind and venture to America.

Coming to America was a huge step and chance they took, but definitely a good one that paid off in the end. Many people don’t understand that America isn’t a place where things are just handed to them, but rather a place where hard work and persistence can pay off. In many countries there is a “once poor, always poor” way of living that traps people in the lives of their parents, and their parent’s parents. There are not as many opportunities to become successful or give your children chances that you yourself didn’t have. In America hard work and a good work ethic can boost people into the “dream” they came to achieve.