Immigrants move to America for opportunities to make their American Dream; they are able to live in the U.S. because they can find jobs, but they face unpreventable obstacles. Thanks to my uncle filing the application fourteen years ago, my father received a visa to the United States and left forever the hard farm work in my hometown, a small farming village in China. In March 2006, my family immigrated to New York City; this was a turning point in my life. Like other immigrants, my parents held on their American Dream to begin a new life in the United States. I did not want to live far away from my friends and gave up my original dream of having the same friends at college. I was a senior in high school when my father told me that we were going to my uncle’s house in the United States. I had no memory about my uncle because he had lived in the United States before my father married my mother; this family reunion was the one part of my father’s immigration plan that I felt happy about. Life is not easy, especially my new immigrant life in New York City; the beginning of my new life was filled with unfair experiences for my family members, and I had to become accustomed to my new life.
Harper Lee states, “It is a sin to kill a mockingbird,” which means it is a crime to hurt innocent people; my younger brother was attacked by another student from behind on the way home from school. Due to the different education systems in my home country and the United States, I restarted my high school years, and my younger siblings were my classmates in English class. One day after school during the first semester, my brother walked around the playground on his way home, and I walked far behind him. Suddenly, a guy walked behind my brother and in front of me hit my brother on the back and ran away quickly laughing aloud. My brother turned around without enough time to react. I heard sounds of pain, neither a cry nor a help signal. Not knowing how to react, ask for help, or report to the police, my brother looked straight at me silent and helpless. I ran to him, and I asked him what happened rather than asking if he was okay or not. I could not help myself to tell him that I knew what happened since my brother is a year younger than me. He is strong and like an older brother to me when he cooks at home. Considering his manhood, I did not ask anything but walked home slowly.
I still cannot forget what I thought on the way home. I wanted to yell out to the world about that rude attitude which stopped my mind totally; this attitude is unfair, unfair to a newcomer, unfair to a new learner, and unfair to everyone in the world. I could not control my mind, and I felt so hot that I held my voice but could not keep my eyes dry. Through and through, I realized my limited energy and courage were not enough to survive in this strange city. Furthermore, I learned about the “welcome” to the United States; I had to restart school, learn English, and get used to a new life. Because I started school, I finally developed a dream to master English and lead a happy life; however, the word “new” has come with negative connotations since that day.
Without any conversation, we arrived home, and we were alone because my parents worked late. My father worked at a sauce and container factory, and my mother work as a home care nurse. My mother arrived home soon after my brother prepared dinner. Mom told me that she had a bad day. When she was in the restroom at the 42nd street subway station, an old but strong woman stopped her on the gate and grabbed her handbag. She mentioned the other people were looking but said nothing, and she was not able to do anything to respond since she did not speak any English and was frightened. My mother was robbed of a metro card and two dollars. I was shocked, but I kept my uncomfortable mind inside. While my mother retold the unfortunate events to my father during dinner, I could not help but reveal what happened to my brother when we were on our way home. All of us understand that there were different kinds of people in this country in spite of its strong economic development. Having grown up within a harmonious culture and with a traditional extended family background, all of us lacked the courage to fight for ourselves at that moment. All we knew was to be careful; being careful was the best way to avoid trouble. However, how could we keep being careful while we had ideas, but no way to express them? The only answer for me was to keep learning in my academic years; then, I would have enough skill to fight for myself, my family, and my people.
In order to achieve the American Dream, I need to conform to adopt a new life; I should also be proactive to achieve success. I have a desire to fight against unfair treatment even though my American Dream may be torn apart by violence. Although my future cannot be predicted, there are some concepts which I have experienced that I would consider when approaching my dream. From the lower economically developed country, I brought my culture and tradition into a new living environment, and I am going to get used to the new home. However, what I brought was not suitable for leading a happy life. I did not have enough skills as my brother and mother did to be successful in the new life, especially the language skills. We might face other obstacles in daily life; we had to be aware and assimilate into the new culture.