In the American school system, Asian Americans have developed the stereotype of excelling in math or science, getting straight A’s or being the perfect “model minority.” That’s not true.
Many try to be the “model minority,” as Asian American first and second generation immigrants are often pressured to succeed by their parents. The expectations of success are ingrained in many Asian cultures. It comes in the form of receiving the best grades, achieving the highest honors, and getting into the most elite colleges. While parents expect them to excel, the students also expect themselves to achieve high marks.
While some students may prosper amidst the pressure and expectations, many other Asian American students wither from it. Having such high expectations and parental pressure can lead to depression and low self-esteem when encountering failure.
It’s overwhelming to have these expectations from family members and the stereotypes many Asian American students set themselves up with high expectations while trying their best in school.
In the beginning of my high school experience, I tried to become the “model minority” to please my family by getting straight As and taking advanced classes. During sophomore year, I was devastated when I didn’t get all As. I felt like I was a failure because I didn’t meet the expectations I set for myself.
Gradually I accepted the fact that I could not be perfect academically. Sometimes you cannot be the best in every subject or class you are in. I learned that everyone makes mistakes, experiences failures, and learns from the past, so we have to try our best in the future.