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How I Feel as an Undocumented Student

Only two percent of undocumented students go into pursuing higher education. Like many high school students preparing for college and life after high school, there are also undocumented high school students who have to overthink every day whether specific colleges or even states will allow them to pursue a higher education. Being in an undocumented student’s shoes is definitely an everyday challenge that most of the time we will have to face and figure out ourselves.


Many don’t acknowledge the fact that undocumented students are probably some of the most self-innovative people who are very ingenuitive. It is honestly very confusing for many colleges and universities to even take into consideration that to be accepted into these specific colleges and universities, you must be a U.S. Citizen. In my opinion, there should be no limits for undocumented students to pursue a higher education in order to live the life they want to live. I believe that rules and regulations should be changed so that undocumented students have no barriers to pursuing higher education.


It would be heavily beneficial if schools provided undocumented students with scholarships, financial aid, and more that we can actually apply for. As an undocumented student going from question to question about where I was born to where I want to go to college, it was (and is) still a difficult question to answer. It is mostly the most basic answers to questions that could make me feel different or estranged.


As an undocumented student, many would say that being an undocumented student has in some way, shape, or form made me a “stronger” person. When in reality, I just wanted to feel like a normal human being and not be defined as an “alien” or “outsider”. I know that there are many barriers that limit our ability to pursue whatever we want to pursue, but I know that someday these unnecessary obstacles will soon vanish from our society. I know that sooner or later people will be educated enough to understand the challenges undocumented students have to face every day.


Luckily for us, there are resources out there that help us, whether that means, giving us more financial aid/information or giving us resources, etc. Some really helpful websites are “thedream.us/about-us/”,

“https://immigrantsrising.org/”, “https://www.higheredimmigrationportal.org/”, and more! It is also very recommended to ask admission officers regarding undocumented students and financial aid for them. You can also ask your school counselor about advising and providing you with important information about certain schools and their choices regarding accepting undocumented students.


I would just like to add that if you are an undocumented student, poc, minority or just struggling with school in general just know that this dreadful process will soon be at ease and whatever you do or wherever you go it will all happen for a reason. And if you ever just need someone to talk to, then I'm your girl! (Insta will be down below if you have any type of questions or just want to talk about school or advising).


Lastly, I hope whoever is reading this feels either informed or relieved. I know that many may not fully understand our situations as undocumented students, people, minorities, etc. But I hope that after you read this you feel a little educated and have some sort of insight into what it is like to be an undocumented high school student.


Marely Martinez, 11th Grade, Springdale, AR, Instagram- @martinezz_marelyy

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