“Life at times can feel suffocating especially moments you never see coming. In the end, I learned a valuable lesson: my immigration status does not determine my worth, character, or humaneness.”- Aarushi S.

‘Moving’ is not a foreign term to me, it’s a part of me. Whether it be moving from Europe to India or venturing to America for higher studies, starting my life over was something I had to brace myself to do every time. Having the opportunity to spend my years in different countries was rewarding, but also lonely. Being the new kid and making new friends, again and again, felt like an exhausting never-ending cycle.

America was the first place that felt like home- The people, the diversity, the culture. For the first time, I felt like I belonged. The phrase ‘You could do anything’ was something that stuck with me. It gave me hope and made me believe I could achieve my own American Dream. But, I soon realized this was not the case for me. During college apps, I found out that my Visa status could lead to possible deportation when I turned 21. I was not eligible for financial aid or a paying job which left me even more blindsided.

My senior year felt dark after that. I felt as if everything I put work into didn’t matter. There were times where I didn’t even know if I had a future anymore. I felt isolated since no one I personally knew had an issue close to this. I didn’t know who to go for a shoulder to cry on and get advice from. Everything I did remind me of the fact that I was different from my peers. My worth felt like it fell down to my visa status. It felt haunting to know there was a chance of me losing my newfound home for something out of my control. I felt like an unseen outsider in the place I called home.

I was angry with my parents for putting me in a situation like this. But I soon realized that they just wanted the best for me. My parents gave up everything just so I could accomplish my dreams, I can not take that for granted.

Life at times can feel suffocating especially moments you never see coming. In the end, I learned a valuable lesson: my immigration status does not determine my worth, character, or humaneness. I am not alone in this. The immigration system can be frustrating, but I do have faith that one day it will be a fair system for everyone regardless of race, faith, sexuality, or creed.

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