Underachieving and racial stereotypes

'It is entirely possible for you to break out of a mould you might feel you are in.'

'It is entirely possible for you to break out of a mould you might feel you are in.'

A CLOSE friend of mine once told me that they could not excel at school like others. This was because they truly believed in the stereotypes of their ethnicity.

My friend is a Pacific Islander and I have noticed that some students of both Pacific Island or Maori descent in particular, have been affected by this issue.

My view on this matter is that these students have a low level of confidence, for several reasons, that hinders their determination in having ambitions and in achieving them. One reason that I think makes some students of Maori and Pasifika descent doubt their educational goals is that they may come from a low-income family that might not have completed their schooling or did not carry on to tertiary study.

Because of this, some of them think that if their family members could not achieve, then they can’t either. They underestimate their capabilities and think they cannot achieve any better than their parents.

Also, negative portrayals of some Maori and Pacific Islanders in the media can make younger generations of the two ethnic groups feel put down and uninspired.

Ethnic stereotyping

Another more evident reason, that my friend had fallen victim to, is ethnic stereotypes. These stereotypes can be found in multiple social environments like at school, at home and on social media sites like Facebook.

From my understanding, most Maori and Pasifika stereotypes portray them as being uneducated and incompetent.

These stereotypes are permanent fixtures in people’s everyday life, which I find most unfortunate as they do have a negative effect on some individuals’ way of thinking and their self-esteem.

As a person of both Maori and Pasifika decent, I would like to express that no one should feel disadvantaged due to being Maori or Pacific Islander (or any other ethnicity).

With the right amount of commitment and ambition, anyone can do anything if they focus their minds on it hard enough.

It is important that people believe in themselves and in what they can truly do and that it is entirely possible for you to break out of a mould you might feel you are in.

For example, the belief that you are not likely to not gain university entrance because your parents did not attend. If you work hard towards something then you are most likely to achieve any goal. So do not give up.

Do what you think will make you happy and benefit you over the short and long-term.

If you need inspiration, then find it in your community. There are countless Maori and Pacific Island students throughout the country, especially in Gisborne, who have greatly excelled in academics and many other fields.

So ignore stereotypes and do not let by the negative actions of some people who belong to the same ethnic group as you leave you feeling uninspired. Instead, be strong in your confidence, determination and ambition towards your learning and be proud of your ethnic identity.

Strive to be an inspiration like those who inspire you.

A CLOSE friend of mine once told me that they could not excel at school like others. This was because they truly believed in the stereotypes of their ethnicity.

My friend is a Pacific Islander and I have noticed that some students of both Pacific Island or Maori descent in particular, have been affected by this issue.

My view on this matter is that these students have a low level of confidence, for several reasons, that hinders their determination in having ambitions and in achieving them. One reason that I think makes some students of Maori and Pasifika descent doubt their educational goals is that they may come from a low-income family that might not have completed their schooling or did not carry on to tertiary study.

Because of this, some of them think that if their family members could not achieve, then they can’t either. They underestimate their capabilities and think they cannot achieve any better than their parents.

Also, negative portrayals of some Maori and Pacific Islanders in the media can make younger generations of the two ethnic groups feel put down and uninspired.

Ethnic stereotyping

Another more evident reason, that my friend had fallen victim to, is ethnic stereotypes. These stereotypes can be found in multiple social environments like at school, at home and on social media sites like Facebook.

From my understanding, most Maori and Pasifika stereotypes portray them as being uneducated and incompetent.

These stereotypes are permanent fixtures in people’s everyday life, which I find most unfortunate as they do have a negative effect on some individuals’ way of thinking and their self-esteem.

As a person of both Maori and Pasifika decent, I would like to express that no one should feel disadvantaged due to being Maori or Pacific Islander (or any other ethnicity).

With the right amount of commitment and ambition, anyone can do anything if they focus their minds on it hard enough.

It is important that people believe in themselves and in what they can truly do and that it is entirely possible for you to break out of a mould you might feel you are in.

For example, the belief that you are not likely to not gain university entrance because your parents did not attend. If you work hard towards something then you are most likely to achieve any goal. So do not give up.

Do what you think will make you happy and benefit you over the short and long-term.

If you need inspiration, then find it in your community. There are countless Maori and Pacific Island students throughout the country, especially in Gisborne, who have greatly excelled in academics and many other fields.

So ignore stereotypes and do not let by the negative actions of some people who belong to the same ethnic group as you leave you feeling uninspired. Instead, be strong in your confidence, determination and ambition towards your learning and be proud of your ethnic identity.

Strive to be an inspiration like those who inspire you.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you shop locally whenever you can, or prefer shopping online, or out of town?