Whether the price of pursuing higher education is worth it or not has become one of the biggest debates for graduating Americans. There are two sides of the debate: One side favors the argument that a college degree will benefit an individual’s financial well-being. On the other end of the debate, the second side is the concern on the debt increase for college graduates. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, for example, states that the unemployment rate in 2012 was 7.l7%. This is the percentage of Americans who did not attend college and those who did not earn a degree. The percentage of Americans, in 2012, that did not attend college or earn a degree “earn on average $727 a week” (Earnings and Unemployment…”). Obtaining knowledge about these statistics has influenced me to pursue my educational goals. At a young age and while I was growing up, I saw the challenge and the struggle that my own family faced. I became motivated by my circumstances, and strived to have a successful life. One of the biggest challenges for me was seeing all the expenses; this definitely discouraged me from pursuing my education. However, my personal goal of obtaining a degree of some type is a major contributing factor to my future success, my knowledge, and my stability throughout my adult life.
My realization of why a college degree is worth it comes from my childhood experiences. I was born in the United States, and I went to Mexico when I was four years old. When I turned six, I came back to the United States. Soon, I had to start my education in American public school, and I was clueless as to how I was going to learn everything I had to learn. I read an article that motivated me even more to continue on with higher education because it stated “Overall, Chicano/a and Mexican American students are the least likely to complete high school, pursue higher education, and graduate with a college degree” (Mendez, Sylvia). However, I was determined to succeed and help my own family. My family encountered many difficulties, challenges, and made a lot of sacrifices to ensure that I would have a life better than theirs and I believe I can pay them back by finishing college and working in a beneficial career. One of the challenges that my parents faced was leaving their parents at a young age to chase their idea of the American dream. Thankfully, they have succeeded and have been able to provide me with wonderful opportunities, such as: supplying me with a great and loving home, helping me pay my college expenses, and encouraging me daily to do my best. I am always reminded of how special I am to be the first in my family to pursue higher education. If I graduate I will also be the first to gain a college degree in effect inspiring my younger brothers and I will also be able to support my mother and father. Helping my family has been one of the most important goals to reach because I would not have the opportunity to become a better person without them. Being Hispanic has been a challenge for me because English is not my primary language which makes it hard for my parents to understand a large amount of what I am learning in school. Having this obstacle has not hindered me, because I can speak English pretty well now and I can translate the material I learn at school into Spanish. So as I learn my parents learn as well.
In addition to my childhood experiences, I’ve learned to appreciate the freedom America has given me and my family because in comparison to my mother and father’s living environment to my living environment in America, I can see how blessed I am to even have the option to go to college. My family’s living environment in Mexico influences me in almost all aspects of my life, both inside and outside of school. Since Mexico does not have as many job opportunities as the United States, I can freely pursue my dreams here since I am a U.S citizen, something I would unlikely be able to do