By Joshua Yip
When encountering an Asian American student at school, non-Asian students likely develop common stereotypes concerning that person. They might assume that the Asian American student possesses an exceptional talent for math and science. They might also assume that the student has difficulty speaking English.
A common stereotype is that Asian students are overachievers when it comes to school. While students may admire them for this, it places tremendous pressure on the Asian student to perform well. Asians who do not live up to this ideal have to study more in order to maintain this advantageous perception others have of them.
This stereotype might also deter Asians from asking for help on schoolwork. Those who struggle at school have to figure things out on their own, which may lead to stress and emotional suffering.
Also, the need to fulfill the obligation of academic excellence can hinder Asians from pursuing any other personal, non-academic dreams that they might have.
Many people believe that Asian students are too competitive and simply do not know how to have fun. This is fueled by the common misconception that all Asian students are obsessed with video games and are, therefore, unsociable.
Due to this, non-Asian students might consider building friendships with them rather meaningless, as they are devoid of enjoyment and pleasure.
This limitation of personal interaction can make public high school very difficult for Asian students. Stereotypes may prevent non-Asian students from getting to know their Asian classmates, and mutual understanding is hindered.
Students of all ethnicities will one day grow up and become active members of our society. A sense of trust must be built between all American citizens in order to ensure the continuation of unity, justice, and camaraderie.
We must embrace diversity. Asian students should be accepted for who they are and be allowed to individually determine their own identities. ♦
Joshua Yip can be reached at email@example.com.
(The stories in this issue are written by SYLP students, not Northwest Asian Weekly staff. Opinions herein do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the newspaper.)