College Student

My name is Cristian Jimenez and I am currently pursuing my Bachelor's degree in Art in Computer-Animation at California State University, Fresno. I am the first in my family to graduate from high school and the first to attend college. My career goal is to graduate from college with a degree in animation and hopefully work for Pixar one day. I was born in San Diego, California but my mother brought me to Oaxaca, Mexico for the first years of my life. My mother, Rosenda Dolores, and father, Gregorio Gomez, immigrated to Madera, California, where I would reside until I attended college, when I was four years old. We could not afford housing at the time so we lived with my uncle and his family in his two bedroom house. When I started school, I was nervous at first but I was able to adapt quite quickly. In the first couple of months of school, I was able to speak some English. I would eventually become more fluent in English than Spanish. It would take a couple years of working in the fields and a lot of saving up for my parents to finally afford a house. I still remember the look on their faces when they told us we were moving into our very own house. I was excited! The house was not that big but it was a place that we could call our own. My parents would continue to work in agriculture and I would continue to go to school. School came easy to me. I remembered getting honor rolls in all my grades except for a few in middle school. My G.P.A would always be over a 3.00. I graduated from Madera High School in 2014 and attended California State University, Fresno later that same year. I would get a very valuable lesson in the months leading up to my first day of college. Up until this point, I appreciated everything that my parents have done for me but I did not know just how hard they worked for it. During the summer, I decided to work in the fields to save some money for college. I got hired by a company called Family Ranch and my duties included picking and packaging bell peppers. The first day was horrible; I went home sore all over. The second day was even worse. During the second day, I already wanted to quit, but I knew that I shouldn't. I worked through the pain until the first work week was finally over! This would continue for my entire summer vacation, which was two months, but when it was finally over, I was appreciative. I knew after it was over that is not where I want to end up. I do not ever want to go back into the fields and I use the memory of that summer vacation as motivation when it comes to my college career. Whenever I am having trouble in a class or an assignment, I always remind myself that this is better than the fields and it encourages me to push forward and achieve. But more importantly, it made me realize just how hard my parents worked for to give me these opportunities. They immigrated to the United States to give me a better life and better education. I was barely able to make it two months in agriculture but my parents have been doing it for years. I see them when they come home sore all over and now I see why. Now it is my turn to thank them by graduating college and making my parents proud.

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