Culture

Latina Moms Will Probably Hate This, But Studying Abroad Is The Best Thing You Could Do

One of the most amazing opportunities that come with college is being able to study abroad. Unfortunately, there are a ton of reasons why most of us choose not to study out of the country (*cough* mom, I’m looking at you *cough*). UC Merced student, Camerina Morales decided to just jump in and go for it and these are all the reasons why she’s glad she did.

Most students are terrified to even apply because mom damn near had a heart attack when you went to college *30 minutes away from home.* Now, imagine what she’d say if you tell her you’re going to another country.

CREDIT: CAMERINA MORALES

One of the first internal struggles Camerina faced when deciding whether she wanted to study abroad or not was having to tell her parents.

“They never said yes. My mom and my dad both were completely against it. They just didn’t think it was necessary. My mom said, ‘you’re already going to a university, you’re already away from home, why do you have to go further across the country to get the same education that you’re getting here.’ And my dad had told me that it was very selfish of me. They just never said yes.”

And even if you get your parents’ approval, there’s still another huge problem – money.

CREDIT: CAMERINA MORALES / FACEBOOK

Being able to afford studying abroad, especially in a place like Europe, was really difficult for Camerina and her family.

“I worked the entire summer before going and got some financial aid, but I still didn’t have enough money. I was able to pay for my flight and pay for my first two months there, but after that, I just couldn’t. I didn’t have money. And my parents obviously couldn’t afford to finance me. It’s not that they didn’t want to help me, they just couldn’t. For them it was a burden.” 

And this money problem only got even worse towards the end of her trip:

“I got my wallet stolen when I was there and it was my last amount of money. So when that happened I called my mom and she was freaking out. To be logistical, I took around $4,000, and my girlfriend still helped me with over $1,000. If it wasn’t for that, I would’ve had to come home because I had no money, and I still had another month and a half abroad.”

On top of the financial burden, there’s also the fear of traveling outside of the country for the first time, but most of all, the fear of traveling alone.

CREDIT: CAMERINA MORALES / FACEBOOK

Before studying abroad, Camerina had never traveled outside of the country, which was something that scared both her parents and herself:

“My mom was worried about what was I going to eat, what was I going to do and she thought it was super dangerous. I was very nervous, but also excited. I didn’t have anyone. I was going to a completely different country where I knew nothing and no one.”

Traveling alone only becomes more difficult when you’re extremely close to your family. Homesickness hits hard and there isn’t much you can do when you’re thousands of miles away.

CREDIT: @CHEERISCAM / INSTAGRAM

As much as Camerina enjoyed her time abroad, there were many special family events and holidays that she couldn’t be a part of because she was out of the country:

“It was harder in the end than it was in the beginning, because at the beginning you’re super excited, so the adrenaline beat my fear. But towards the end, towards thanksgiving, I was already waiting to come home, and it got bad. Thanksgiving and all of my family’s birthdays are what I missed. It was my grandpa’s birthday and it was around 4am in London and 8pm in LA and that was really hard for me. I also missed my little brother’s birthday which really hurt me.”

But no matter how hard it gets, studying abroad is definitely one of the most eye-opening, enriching, and rewarding experiences you could go through.

CREDIT: CAMERINA MORALES / FACEBOOK

Even though this trip wasn’t easy at all, Camerina doesn’t regret one bit of it:

“I don’t take it back. I struggled a lot, towards the end especially. But studying abroad gives you that experience of traveling. I loved the different environment, speed of life, different foods. I learned compassion, responsibility, communication and most of all, vulnerability to the general culture and public of being in another country.” 

It’s something every college student should take advantage of while they’re still in school.

CREDIT: @CHEERISCAM / INSTAGRAM

If she hadn’t studied abroad, chances are she would’ve never gotten the chance to travel at all:

“I would’ve never been able to travel with my family. Even though my mom is a citizen, with everything that’s going on right now, she would never leave the country. And my dad works every day, so he can’t skip a day unless he hires someone to do his job, but he can’t afford to do that. My parents have only flown to Mexico once and that was like 21 years ago, and they’ve never gone again because of money. And now, they’re especially not going because they feel restricted.”

And if your parents think you’re being selfish or inconsiderate, remember that college is a time to discover, enrich and challenge yourself.

CREDIT: CAMERINA MORALES / FACEBOOK

Before studying abroad, there were a lot of things that Camerina felt unsure about:

“I learned so much about who I was and who I wanted to be. Before going abroad I was very conflicted on what I wanted to do after I graduated, I thought I wanted to be a teacher my entire collegiate career and turns out my passion is elsewhere. It switched up my path but allowed me to realize that my future remained somewhere else.”

Ultimately, it was a huge learning experience that she will never forget.

“I learned to be healthier, far more independent and I found myself so much happier after being there for only 2 months, so my growth after 3.5 months was immense. I learned about the type of people I knew I wanted to surround myself with for the rest of my life.”

So no matter how many reasons you can think of as to why you can’t and shouldn’t study abroad…You can. And you should.

CREDIT: CAMERINA MORALES / FACEBOOK

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

“This was something that was very hard for me to do, but I did it. I think that if I did it, and I’m super family oriented, and my parents said no, and I was super financially restricted, then anyone can do it.” -Camerina


READ: This Top Latina Athlete Is Refusing To Run For Her College Until It Fixes Its Racism Problem


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Show Mom How Much You Love Her With These Sweet Mother’s Day Gifts

Culture

Show Mom How Much You Love Her With These Sweet Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is just one of the days in the year when we show our mom how much we love her. She gave us life and isn’t shy about reminding us. Why not make this day a little special with a nice gift? Here’s a little guide to get you started. Use code momdaywam2021 for a discount on all of your mom merch!

Love You Mom Mug | $14.99 – $17.99

mitú

There was nothing more dreadful than not being able to find something. You just knew that when you asked your mom for help that it came with a lot of strings attached. The mere idea of mom searching and finding it sent us into a wild frenzy trying to find it before she got to the room.

This mug is the perfect reminder of those mildly scary moments of missing remotes and socks. Now, as an adult, you can all look back and laugh because it isn’t that scary anymore, right? 😨

Nadie Me Ayuda En Esta Casa | $24.99

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You can’t forget this absolute classic. This shirt is one of the most relatable gifts you can give your mother. She is always doing everything for everyone and no one wants to help. This shirt will show that you acknowledge that you don’t do enough and appreciate just how hard she works.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can stay not helping. Let this be the start of you changing some of your own practices and helping your mom around the house. it is never too late.

Mom, Ma, Ama, Madre, Mujer Mug | $19.99

mitú

A nice little mug with mom in all the ways we say it is just a nice addition to your mom’s coffee mug collection. It will definitely bring a smile to her face every time she sees it because it just shows how much you are thinking of her.

Pregúntale A Tu Papá Tee | $24.99 – $26.99

mitú

How many times have you heard your mom say this? It is never when you need to find something because dad never knows where to find stuff. That is just a cold hard fact about life in a Latino household. This was always posed to you when you asked mom to go to a sleepover or anything that required approval.

This will not only make your mom laugh, but dad will chuckle as well. After all, he knows that his word is only as good as his vieja will let it be. Lol.

Best Amá Ever Mug | $14.99 – $17.99

mitú

Let your mom brag all the time, any time. This mug is perfect for her to take to work so that everyone in her office sees that she is, indeed, the best amá ever. I’m sure that people will think that their mom is the best but you know that your mom is the best. This will soon be the ultimate status symbol.

Quiero Nietos Unisex Tee | $24.99 – $27.99

mitú

We all know that mom (and dad) can’t wait to have nietos to spoil endlessly. This shirt will give them a physical way to constantly remind you that they can’t wait for those little ones. You might regret giving her a shirt that she can wear every time you go to visit her but she will love it. Maybe it is just a quick laugh but we all know that she will wear it to manifest her nietos.

Esta Casa No Es Hotel Poster | $16.99 – $19.99

mitú

Help your mom decorate the house with her own sense of humor. The poster will give your mom a reference to point to when people ask her for too much. Like, learn the house. Find your own towels. Get your own juice. Room service and hotel-level work is not happening in this house. You got legs, arms, and claim to be a grown up.

Happy anniversary to all of the mothers, abuelas, tías, and mother figures in the world.

READ: Vanessa Bryant Celebrates Like A Proud Mom As Daughter Natalia Announces She’s Going To USC

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Users On Reddit Are Sharing Their Wild Experiences With Sperm Donation

Fierce

Users On Reddit Are Sharing Their Wild Experiences With Sperm Donation

With sperm donations, families of all sorts have access to planning and creating a family. According to the US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health in 2015–2017, 440,986 families were estimated to have used sperm donation to start families.
Of course, while a benefit the circumstances of sperm donations can often spurn questions and odd scenarios.

Users on Reddit are speaking about their own sperm donation stories and the answers are pretty surprising.

Check them out below!

“So, I’m not the dad, but a kid. So my bio-dad donated sperm and gave permission to be identified. Didn’t even have to be after 18. In counting (because we’re not sure if we’ve found all of us yet) there are 53 half-siblings, all his kids. My full sister and I didn’t know we were donor babies until I was a freshman in college, and her a junior in high school. It was a few more years before we found out the scope of our family. As such, I never got to meet the man as he passed away in 2018, but I’ve been getting to know my half siblings and I’m sad to have missed him. He apparently engaged in annual reunions and was interested in getting to know all of the kids if they (and their families) were open to it. We all support each other basically by default even though we didn’t grow up together. What’s even wilder about him is that he got national news coverage for something besides his giant flock of kids. The guy got married to a woman the day he met her as a competition to be his bride in the Mall of America. It was apparently a heartfelt story and the two of them had a 20 something year marriage with 4 kids that they raised themselves. The Mall of America even has a plaque with his name on it now, so you can go find him if you really try. The man was a weirdo, but in the best way. He was kind and generous with his time and really seemed to care about *all* of his kids, or at least the ones he knew about.”-SilverRock75

“Oh hey, I can answer this! I’m not a donor, but I was donor conceived, along with my sister (same donor). I had a great dad and never had any desire to find out who my donor was, but I was always curious about siblings, especially when I learned there’s no legal limit on how many children you can father when you donate sperm in the US.

Well, one 23andMe test later, and the first result on the top of the list is a half sister in Texas. We get in contact, realize we have a TON in common, and it sparked a fire in her to find more siblings. She took an Ancestry DNA test and the top of that list was a man in California, listed as father.

She got in touch with him right away, turns out he’s a fantastic guy. He was adopted himself and also got in contact with his birth mom as an adult, so he had been on our side of the situation and was very open and willing to talk. His wife has been super supportive of us meeting too. He has three, uh, organically made kids of his own (I was especially ecstatic to learn that I’m a big sister), plus we’ve since found three more half siblings who’ve all been very cool and excited to find each other. At this point, I’ve met all but one of them in person, and I got to meet my biological grandmother too.” – racecarart

“A guy I know in his 70s got a call from a guy in his 50s saying ‘hey, I’m your son, oh and I just learned I have a genetic disease so your other kids should probably get tested’”- daxelkurtz

“Totally not an answer but my gf and I were just wondering about whether there were any protocols for how much of one donor’s sperm is allowed to be distributed within a given area.

Like, what could prevent 2 moms from having the donor’s offspring in the same area and having those kids grow up and meet as teens/adults, start a relationship and realize they’re related?”- MightyMaus1

“Some clinics will put a cap on number of families, but there are manh cases of people have dozens, even up to 40, 80, 100 half siblings. It brings up the ethics around this, and many donor conceived people are vehemently against this and believe there needs to be a limit in place.”- TheTinyOne23

“I donated for six months in university. Twice a week. I gave consent to be contacted. That was close to 20 years ago now.

I did call and ask once, my sperm resulted in 24 successful pregnancies. That was all the office could tell me.

I have not done 23andme or anything like that.”- ciroryder

“That’s quite crazy. You have 24 children as far as the spiralling coil DNA goes. They’ve all got half or full siblings they don’t know about (well, the full ones will surely know). That’s really crazy. In 1000 years, you might be the Ghengis Khan where your dna is traced to like 1 in 3 people on mars or something. The dna analysis will just show you, not the fact that your a donor.”- The_Queef_of_England

“My aunts had to get a donor for both children, and he happened to live in the same neighborhood (can’t remember if that was a coincidence or not). But he is a close family friend now! He comes over for their birthdays and other family events. They don’t refer to him as their dad really, only as a joke, but he is very close with our family.”-anniecakes22

“I was donor-conceived. I took a DNA test, his natural-born daughter took a DNA test. So really neither of us ‘gave permission’. There are 28 siblings so far. It was quite a shock. I wasn’t expecting it and didn’t know. I was 38.

I’ve met the donor and most of the half siblings. He’s a cool guy. I think it is eerie how I see many of my mannerisms in him and the other siblings. I know there is a wide range of emotions for people who experience this sort of thing, but for me it was generally positive.”-mynuname

“It is incredible how the similarities are passed down. My father-in-law had a daughter that was the result of a one-night stand and was adopted by a wonderful family. The adoption agency had a registration of birth parents and kids, who could each (blind to the other) give permission to be contacted, and only if both parties did, they’d put them in contact. So this happens in her early 20’s, and they make arrangements for her to fly to meet her birth family, including my wife and her brother (her half-siblings). My wife goes to pick her up at the airport since the parents live out of town. There were no arrangements, no pictures, nothing (this was pre-Facebook) – my wife saw her come out the doors, knew without question it was her, and she knew the same, they had a huge tearful hug without even any words. They just knew, by looks, by mannerisms, whatever.

The incredible thing is, I’ve shown pictures of the half-sister, with or without her birthfather and half-sister, and everyone agrees she doesn’t actually look much like them. But there’s something about the looks and how they act that is so similar between all of them, it really is incredible.

Edit – one more detail. We found out years later that the father and daughter contacted the agency to open themselves up to contact…within 24 hours of each other. A complete coincidence. The agency actually didn’t do it for a couple weeks because they were trying to contact the daughter’s adoptive parents (who had passed away, hence the delay) because they just assumed there had been contact since they were in touch so impossibly close together.”- mrdannyg21

“My step-mom was an early donation conceived baby. She’s done 23&Me and Ancestry. Last I heard she was up to 23 (!!) half-siblings. Their donor father died in the late 1980s and seems to have been a good man.”-MyMelancholyBaby

“My younger bro donated multiple times unbeknownst to me. Years later my wife and I did Ancestry.com to get an idea of how diverse our backgrounds were and wham! Started getting contacted by lots of people (over a dozen) saying we were close relatives. At first I was confused and asked the early ones about their parentage – they all had a similar stories. Single mom went to a sperm bank. Didn’t take long to guess what happened. Call my brothers and asked. Younger one fessed up and said yes – he went multiple times. In fact they told him he had to stop donating because there was a statistical probability his progeny could meet and date (at least they seemed ethical). I asked if it was okay if I gave them his contact – he was fine with it. The weird thing is that they all had his face – like one look at them and it was obvious who their father was. Anyway, this went on for a couple of years and they all connected with each other. Seems there is over 20 now, probably more. He has met a couple of them but it was all casual. The whole thing is super weird to the rest of family to have all these “close” relatives who somehow are part of the family but then again not really.”- ezagreb

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