How the Past Affected my Future

Describe the world you come from-for example, your family, community or school-and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

I have read that our brains can store about one million gigabytes worth of memories. Those memories shape who we are and how we perceive things. What do my memories consist of? I have memories of Mexico: bringing my Polly Pocket suitcase to my grandmother’s home in Rosarito, playing Nintendo 64 in a cardboard house, and celebrating Fourth of July with firecrackers in Ensenada. I also have memories of kindergarten: learning what pineapple meant in Spanish, and being confused with my grandfather when he called me “mi hija”; knowing the literal translation was my daughter. So many of those gigabytes of memories involve my Mexican upbringing.

Although our family is very Americanized, we do have some Mexican tradition: family gatherings to make tamales on Christmas, preparing my great grandmother’s famous “sopita” when I am sick, and large celebrations with mariachi bands and the traditional Mexican food. Exposure to the treasures of the Latin culture has influenced me tremendously. Each time I visit Mexico, I am enamored with the natives and how they interact. Every family I have encountered seems genuinely happy, despite their economic status, and they appear to be so grateful surrounded by the ones they love most. I admire these...

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