"An American is anyone who lives in the United States of America. Whether it is an immigrant or a natural born citizen, they are an American." My second grade teacher used to say this to us when we were in our Social Science class. When I heard these words from her mouth, I felt an unusual joy. But this joy was not for me - it was for my parents. As I am a natural born citizen, my parents are immigrants. At a young age, I could not quite make out if I was an American or an Asian Indian. My life would always go two ways. When I was at school, I felt like an American. I spoke, dressed, and acted like my classmates. But at home, it was a different story. We spoke a different language and my grandparents always wore different clothes.

At school, I always got along with the other students and as far as I can remember, they liked me. I was treated just like everyone else and everyone, including my teachers, was nice to me. Even until today, all my classmates behave in the manner they would behave with others. Sometimes I am put in the 'spotlight' when someone asks about my culture and traditions. It is no big deal because it does not bother me. If I am from a different nationality, I will get questions asked about my culture. Sometimes I like it when others ask me about my culture. It shows individuality in me. I do not think there is anything wrong with being different or individual. I am glad that school is not a problem for me, because education is important to my family and me.

I often ask my father many times why he came to America. He always says the same thing - for better education and more opportunities. I do think about what he says, but then I think of it another way - he is doing all this for his children. Whatever he has done till today and will ever do is for my siblings and me. Because of that, I do not ask him anything else. This way I do not feel guilty of reminding him of his homeland, India. After a hard life in India, my father came here so he can give his children a good education and not give them hardship. I know there is no way I can pay him back for all he does. That is why I want to fulfill his dreams. He wishes to see all his children happy and well settled after we start our careers. Therefore, I have decided to make him happy by becoming a doctor. After he knows we are successful, he will be relieved, and I will be, too.

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