identity

From Diapers To Dorms, I Worked Hard To Make Sure My Baby Sister Could Go To College

Betsy Aimee

As a first generation college student, as well as the first person in my family to be born in the United States, there was many things I had to figure out on my own.

CREDIT: The author (left) and her sister. Photo credit: Betsy Aimee

When it came to college it always felt like there was an assumption that all parents knew a lot about the process and were heavily involved; That they were signing me up for SAT classes, flying across the country with me to look at colleges and had a vast network of friends that were ready to offer me internships.

They supported me in many other ways and cultivated in me a desire to pursue higher education, but for the most part I was their window into the mainstream “American” world, so their ability to help was limited.

It was a blessing to be so self-reliant at a young age but at the same time I carried many things in isolation and there was an emotional toll that took on me. I’m not complaining, as I have lived a life of privilege and opportunity that many people, my parents included, could only have dreamed of.

Because of this it always felt like I couldn’t burden my parents with my “problems” when they worked so hard to provide me with housing and transportation, and the occasional luxury. It’s not that my parents didn’t care, they just didn’t know what they didn’t know. It would have been great to have an adult, or older sibling to offer me support at that stage of my life.

My sister was born when I was 16 years old. I realized that life had given me a special opportunity. As the oldest daughter to our father who emigrated from rural Mexico to the United States decades before, I felt like I was her official guide to first-gen life.

CREDIT: The author’s sister. Photo credit: Betsy Aimee

When I was in college, in between class, work, friends and boys, I would pick her up in my shiny, red Mustang. I didn’t always have tons of money, but I tried to expose her to as many things as I could. I would take her to the Festival of Books at UCLA and we’d walk around local universities. On trips we would drive through schools and talk about what her life would be like when she was a young woman.

When she was in elementary school I read an essay she had written. In it she said that I was her role model. It was a stark reminder to be better, and do better. After all, my sister was watching.

When I graduated from college with honors she was 8 years old. My dad pulled her and my brother out of school to attend my commencement ceremony. I remember her sitting on the bleachers in her pink dress looking up at me proudly. She told me later that was the moment she knew she wanted to go to college too!

As she got older, we talked about the fact that so very few Latinx people actually graduate from college, and that while not everyone needs college to be successful, education is an important way to advance our entire community. I told her that seeking to be the best people we could be was a way to honor the sacrifices of our father and her mother (my stepmother).

As she went through middle school and the early years of high school, we talked about classes she could take that would put her on the “college track.” I am sure sometimes it felt more like I was an annoying helicopter mom than a cool older sister. I also made sure to be honest about mistakes I made, and things I didn’t know then that I wish I had known.

Last year, I helped her write her essays for her college applications. In the midst of my own crazy life, which now includes a child of my own, I always tried to set aside time to be there for her when she needed me.

When she started getting her acceptances, I cried. We went to look at colleges together earlier this year.

CREDIT: The author and her sister at her sister’s high school graduation. Photo credit: Betsy Aimee

After some debate, she decided on Mount Saint Mary’s College near home in Los Angeles. Then she announced she would be living in the dorms. I reassured my father that this was a tremendous opportunity for her to immerse herself in the culture of the university and be focused on her studies. When she needed to appeal her financial aid award, of course, I wrote it.

We went shopping for her dorm supplies together and part of me was super excited she was going to have the experience I never had. That is the thing about being a first generation big sister, like a parent, you want things for your siblings that you couldn’t have for yourself.

I also told her something that I wish someone had told me at her age. I told her that she is more than the sum of her accomplishments; that the determination and ethics that had gotten her to college would carry her through life no matter what happened.

I told her this because I also know that there is a particular type of guilt that plagues first-generation kids like us. We feel like we will never fully repay our parents for our sacrifices and we can punish ourselves harshly for any mistakes we make.

Recently, my family and I, including my father, brother and stepmother, moved her into her dorm. It was a bittersweet moment because, in my mind, she’s still a little girl looking up at me with wonder. But looking at me now is a bright, level-headed, hard-working young woman moving towards her future with the hopes of all her ancestors resting on her shoulders.

CREDIT: Photo credit: Betsy Aimee

As we walked back to the car my dad told me, “You should have more children. I would be having a much harder time letting go of your sister if I didn’t have you and your brother too.” I said, “Dad, what are you talking about? This one counts as one of mine too.”

While my sister has learned from me, being her big sister opened up a doorway to love and understanding the importance of mentorship for first generation kids.

After all, It is up to us who have paved the way to make sure we are leaving the door open for everyone coming behind us.


READ: While Homesickness During College Is Hard Enough As It Is, This Latino Student Explains Why It’s Been Even More Difficult For Him

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This Woman Lost It When She Witnessed Her Uber Driver Read His Acceptance To Harvard And It’s The Purest Explosion Of Emotion I’ve Seen

Things That Matter

This Woman Lost It When She Witnessed Her Uber Driver Read His Acceptance To Harvard And It’s The Purest Explosion Of Emotion I’ve Seen

Unfortunately, we see a lot of terrible stories associated with Uber and other ride-share apps but this definitely isn’t one of them. No, this story of persistence, hard work and the power of being genuinely happy for other people’s success is making the rounds and we can’t stop watching it.

On, July 14th, 2019, Twitter user @718rubyy went viral when she tweeted a short video of her recent Uber ride.

Twitter / @718rubyy

In the tweet, she explains that her Uber driver shared with her that she might just be his lucky charm. What might have read as a pickup line, is actually some really awesome news. The tweet explains that — after two years of trying — the unnamed Uber driver has finally been accepted into Harvard University!

“My God, guys! My Uber driver got into Harvard,” she can be heard cheering. “Black Excellence!”

As if that good news wasn’t enough, the response of his passenger made the announcement even better. The Dominicana Uber patron can be heard on the video celebrating and hyping up her driver.

Her Uber driver took the congratulations with a balance of pride and shyness — ducking away from the camera while recording.

Twitter was quick to join in on the congratulations for this Harvard-bound young man.

Twitter / @Ant_OnPoint

This Twitter user had some words of encouragement and advice for the new Harvard student. When you’ve got good momentum, don’t slow down. We’re sure he’ll keep working towards his unquestionably bright future.

Others users pointed out that his passenger’s excitement on video is positively infectious.

Twitter / @Jodemoted
Twitter / @keetron6000

This Dominicana must know that when one of us win, we all win. So, naturally, it makes sense to celebrate this young man’s accomplishments with the energy that we see on the video.

Some Twitter users suggested the Harvard student should continue to explore his luck.

Twitter / @Sirdarius97

Luck isn’t everything. We’re sure getting into Harvard took a lot of hard work as well. STILL, this new student should take full advantage of this good luck streak and hope for more positivity coming his way.

Like any good story, followers have been looking for the romance in this tale.

Twitter / @r8gue

In fact, some were projecting their own romantic hopes for the pair. No word if there’s a love connection resulting from this Uber meet-cute, but we’ll keep an eye out for updates. In the meantime, we ship it.

However, some Twitter users saw it more as an ingenious pick-up line instead of true love.

Twitter / @cubanlxs

We can see how it would seem that way but the news looks pretty genuine. Either way, we respect his game if it’s truly a line.

No matter what you feel about a possible romance between the two, one thing was agreed upon by all.

Twitter / @brazillianphil

Uber story or not, this is the kind of content we like to see on the TL. Good luck at Harvard next year, mystery Uber driver!

Check out the full video below!

From Being Brutally Honest About Her Insecurities To Embarrassing Her, Only Sisters Can Get Away With These Things In Public

Culture

From Being Brutally Honest About Her Insecurities To Embarrassing Her, Only Sisters Can Get Away With These Things In Public

Pinterest

As far as siblings go, the special bond between sisters is one that’s hard to explain. If you have a sister, then you know that there are certain things you can get away with doing to her that none of your other friends would ever let you live down, or forget. Some of us have messed with our hermanitas, done the unforgivable, and lived to tell the tale.

Here are some things you’ve probably done that, otherwise, would have ended some friendships.

1.Tell her you hate how she looks.

Cardi B Ugh GIF by Saturday Night Live - Find & Share on GIPHY

Credit: Saturday Night Live, NBC

Friends don’t let friends look like basura in public. To some, you’d be called a hater for noticing that they’re slacking in the fashion department. We love our sisters, and it’s because we love them that we want to make sure that they always feel—and look—their best. While others might hold a grudge, with your sis you know it’s all love.

2. Get into a physical fight.

Credit: Modern Family, ABC

If you catch these hands with anyone else, it’s usually the end of a relationship. But with a sister, that’s all just a part of life, even if Mamí hates it.

3. Steal.

@ebatescanada

Money, clothes, shoes, food—what’s hers is mine, right? Although there are times that you can’t stand what she’s wearing, it only makes sense that somebody related to you has such great taste. (At least sometimes.)

4. Eat her food without being expected to pay her back.

Orange Is The New Black Latina GIF
Credit: Giphy

You know how they say money is the root of all problems? Some friendships add up to nothing more than nickles and dimes, if you catch our drift. But when you grew up under the same roof, chances are your taste buds are pretty in sync. What good is having a sister if she doesn’t read your mind and order that one other thing you’ve been eyeing on the menu?

5. Encroach on her “me” time and personal space.

Credit: The Voice, NBC

Like climbing into her bed and sleep with the lights in after a scary movie. When you can’t stomach something so terrifying, but are a little too embarrassed to squeeze into  a parent’s bed, snuggling up to your sister is the perfect protection. Plus, you can sacrifice her to the monsters in the closet or under the bed if anything goes south.

5. Get her in trouble with the law…almost.

Credit: Giphy

If you haven’t done it yet, you’ll do it soon. It might not be right, but in the right situation, there’s only one person you could pull this off with—without getting in too much trouble. Whether you’re an older or younger sister, an old license or beat-up school I.D. can get your favorite plus one in on the action. It’s especially helpful for sisters who love doing just about anything together.

6. Play wingman and get it wrong.

Credit: Jane The Virgin, the CW

Nobody knows you like your sister, supposedly. She’s seen you through your first infatuations, rebounds, and most devastating heartbreaks. Who better to introduce you to a new amiguito at the bar or curate the cutest dating app profile pictures for your new profile? At least until they ghost you…

7. Fight and act like you never fought.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Outside of familia, that’s considered fake AF. But with a sister, you can fight about anything from this list, and chances are that five minutes later you’ll be wandering into each other’s rooms to share nail polish and binge Netflix. Few things are worth fighting over with familia.

8. Spread lies.

Credit: Giphy

Growing up and even now, a sister can be your closest confidant and biggest cover-up. When you’re not in class like you said you were when you spent the money on some pendejadas when you said you wouldn’t, and yes, even when you get back together with that person your mom hates, your sister will be the one to have your back. And when the time comes, you’ll do the same for her and make sure you’ve both got the story straight.

9. Challenge her with the truth.

Credit: Huffington Post

We all hate to be told about ourselves. While tough love may end in heartache in other relationships, with sisters, being slapped back into reality with some truth is a blessing in disguise.

10. Expose her secrets.

Giphy.com

In friendships of all kinds, we expect to be able to talk about the hard things and not be judged. A sister’s room especially should be an open door, a safe space. But, there are times when your sis shares something with you that could be dangerous to herself or others, and you have to break that seal of confidentiality to keep her safe. Some of us have said goodbye to old friends by putting their well-being first and having it be as interpreted as nosiness. Luckily, being lovingly nosy comes with the sister territory.

11. Ignore her.

Credit: Giphy

Flaking, being left on red, or forgetting to show up to things would bother any person. When it comes to your sister, the fact that you know you’ll talk to her or see her soon puts less pressure on both of you to keep up appearances and expectations.

12. Gossip about her.

No Way Laughing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Credit: Jenny Lorenzo

Whether you are the oldest or the youngest, sometimes your sister just gets on your freaking nerves. At a certain point, you have to tell somebody! The good part about gossiping about your hermana is chances are, whatever you’re saying to somebody else is probably something you’ve already said to her face.

13. Act differently around her.

Credit: Giphy

We all have an outside persona that we project to the rest of the world. Our coworkers, friends, and classmates know one side of us, while our sisters know another. Instead of being called two-faced, with our best friends since birth we get to be our true selves with no negative consequences.

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