Most people picture the American Dream as a house surrounded by a white picket fence. For APAs, however, the American Dream is something quite different.
By Tiffany Banh
For most people, the American Dream is summed up in three words: freedom, opportunity and prosperity. The premise remains constant for APAs, but their American dream focuses more on the journey towards success. With little family history in the United States, APAs tend towards ambitious goals as they try to accomplish more in the time that they are given. Their goals range from providing themselves with better futures to moving up the socioeconomic ladder as they make names for themselves in America. In the end, APAs create their own American dream as a measure of success.
APA students from USC describe how they see the American dream:
- Jessica Liou, sophomore: “I think the American Dream is an expectation that you strive to make a reality when you immigrate to America. The expectation is that you have a plethora of opportunities to make a better life and living for your family and yourself.”
- Christopher Liu, junior: “I think the American Dream is having the freedom and ability to achieve anything you want to achieve.”
- Johnny Jung, sophomore: “The American Dream is the idea that all Americans, given a great deal of initiative and effort, can achieve and experience all the opportunities that America (the world) has to offer. However, in reality, the American Dream proves to be a ‘myth of meritocracy,’ as the ideal never quite meets the realities of America’s social systems.”
- Andrew Ju, sophomore: “[The American Dream is the idea] that anyone can achieve any measure of success regardless of how little they start with as long as they seek opportunities, work hard, and don’t give up. The sky’s the limit because America is the land of equality and opportunity. [The dream was] designed originally for people with little opportunities and resources.”
- Jonathan So, sophomore: “[The American Dream] is the notion that anybody can change the conditions of their life and bring themselves up the socioeconomic ladder based purely off of hard work. My family came pursuing the notion of the American Dream, and they have been successful in doing so. I think that it has affected me in my upbringing, but I believe it’s a notion that’s a little bit naïve to take in. Social factors and issues, as well as political greed, play into the fact that it’s merely an unreachable dream for many individuals.”
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