58 letters on the American Dream from San Marcos University students, San Diego, California, USA
letter 6: Anthony

I would say there are many pros and cons to living in Southern California. I am Hispanic and I definitely know what it’s like to be discriminated against. I have gone through life being very talented intelligently. Because I live in Southern California where many Hispanics speak very little to no English, many people’s first thought or judgment about me is that I may not speak English, or if they do catch me speaking English, they still think I am not smart. I also play sports and am very good at them, so most people think about the stereotypical “jock” type and think I am not smart as well. Well, I have had close to straight A’s my whole life and I am doing pretty well in my first semester of college so far. I have been called many derogatory names and racial slurs that I will not repeat, but they are very rude and hurtful. These are just some of the many things that are negatively associated with being Hispanic and living in Southern California.

 There are also many positive things for living in Southern California as well though. There is such a diverse group of cultures that live in Southern California, it is amazing to see it all come together. For one thing, which I know everyone loves, is the various types of food that every culture brings. One in particular, is Mexican food. I have not met a person yet who does not absolutely love Mexican food. That is one of the positive things about being Hispanic in Southern California is as well. I also love the weather here, it is near to perfect as it can get. We never have to worry about being too cold, all we have to do really is put on a sweater. When it gets really hot, we just go to the beach or a pool because both are very close. The only different type of weather we have to worry about is rain, but it hardly ever does that. We are so close to many other types of terrains as well. We are only like 1-2 hours from the desert to ride off-road vehicles, the snow to go play in or snowboard, and the beach where we go to swim and lay in the sun. Since there is such a diverse group of cultures here in California, people don’t usually think about another person’s race or ethnicity if they are talking or hanging out, because of the fact that there are so many different people, pretty much everywhere you go there is more than one type of race or ethnicity.

 Overall, I would say the positives outweigh the negatives very much because the negative things happen very little compared to all of the positive things. I would say more people use the negative things to tell jokes or make fun of someone as a joke rather than it be used seriously.