Many believe that America is a land of opportunity and that, if you can make it to America, there is a good chance that you can have a happy, prosperous life here. Personally, I do not think that is always the case.
It can be hard to make a living here. There are many issues within the American economic system, as well as the issues many immigrants face when coming to America, so that you can only really make it if you already have the means to do so. From what I have read and studied, I can only imagine the hardships that many people, not just those from outside of the country but also those whose families go back generations, face when it comes to opportunities and making the most out of your life with these opportunities.
My family has never been the most well off, and a lot of the things I have I am really grateful for because I do have some really nice things and have had some opportunities that I have been really fortunate to obtain. I think many people do not have the opportunities that I have had and therefore do not have the upper hand that someone like myself would have.
I never thought I would go to college, and I am beyond pleased to be here but there are many who are not as fortunate as myself. Financially, college is a luxury that many do not have. My grades were average in high school and my financial status is subpar, but I was able to still go to college, and not everyone is as fortunate. That is a big step for many in their teens and twenties and is a great opportunity for many on their way to better careers and livelihoods. And a lot of this deals directly with issues of economic interest.
This issue is evident in many areas too, and race and immigration status also come into play very often when talking about opportunities one can obtain. Even though the amount of people who are not Caucasian in this country is rising, and soon white people will be the minority one day, there are still extreme issues with power dynamics and representation. We need more people in places of power that would help to better understand diverse backgrounds. It is really critical as a society that we learn to help represent those who maybe we do not understand as well. I think that lack of representation is such a hindrance to opportunities for people in the country, by judging people based on the color of their skin, or the way they look or dress, or how they identify themselves; it all hinders the advancements of these people and also the opportunities they can receive.
I think America can be the land of opportunity. I know that by living in America I have been exposed to really wonderful programs that not everyone can take advantage of, mainly in my education and the continuation of improving women’s rights in the country, come to mind. Yet, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to helping give others opportunities like I have.
People immigrating to America in search of opportunities are oftentimes disappointed in the difficulties on the long road to success. While many have faced issues and difficulties with their skin color or identity, for instance, those differences should not be a deciding factor in the success and opportunities one can have.
Lydia Mardin can be contacted at: