An identity of a group or a person refers to the attributes that they posses making them different from others. Personal identity may involve citing one’s characteristics which distinguish him from the rest. However, when one wishes to identify himself in the group he belongs to, it is necessary to consider all the unique features forming the group and making it different from the others. It is, therefore, imperative for an individual belonging to a certain group to state clearly those attributes for quick and precise identification regarding shared social characteristics, language, values, ideological system among others. This paper explores the significance of my group identity as a non-Caucasian from China belonging to the group of international students from China.
This essay explores the significance of my group in forming my life.
As a non-American, I incur some problems regarding the people I associate with. I always have difficulties communicating with fluent speakers in English, especially with close people I cannot avoid, since English is my second language. Although I neither dispute nor denounce my first language, and I always consider myself as a native of China legally living in the United States of America. My friends accommodated to this group identity, therefore, they understand and treat me as one of them. Consequently, it gives me an opportunity to learn and understand their language faster than ever. I always appreciate and accept my language and when I am asked to identify myself, I confidently answer as fast as I can, likewise the Americans do in their English language. With this appreciation of my language and ethnicity, I never feel neglected even when nobody listens to me.
The fact that I belong to this kind of a group makes me feel secure because I know that I have other members around me who have the same goals. I addition, I have the opportunity to consult with them when something bothers me. We respect each other, we share our troubles and joys with other members of the group. Moreover, belonging to this group enables us to adopt the goals of our peers, share problems with each other, learn together, and listen to everyone’s concerns. Such relationship makes us even closer. Sharing our goals ensures that we get a rare opportunity to filter those objectives of our peers which are not in line with the core purpose of our being in America as international students from the Republic of China. This cohesiveness motivates us to work hard in order to represent our native country in a good image that it deserves.
Being a group of international students from China in Diablo Valley College requires going through a number of challenges such as adjusting to foreign food served in dining halls, means of transportation, clothing guidelines, meeting all new friends as well as involving into the new environment among the others. As a result, we have to inform the school administration of our existence. This is a very vital step in ensuring that nobody of us feels as an interloper but realizes his acceptance in a very accommodating environment where people interact and learn (Berns 46). This aspect of identity will unveil the vitality through belonging to a certain group. A group that one belongs to, will always listen to the complaints raised by the members. Among them are cases of racism, threats from fellow host students, and attacks from classmates. Cases of bullying can be easily forwarded to the relevant authority for further scrutiny and actions in order to perpetuate a good learning environment for both citizens and foreign students.
My group also serves as a source of important information, since it provides perspective beyond an individual’s point of view. During our regular meetings we share information with every member regarding our progress, discuss how to behave and relate with the host students, what is legally required from us, what we should or should not do and also how to deal with cases of xenophobia (Kornblum 68). Members of the group also get a chance to learn how to develop relationships with others both within the group and outside, since we realize that all of us come from different parts of the Republic of China. With this group cohesion particularly all members hope to absorb friends from different ethnicity into our group and become important social informers. In addition, we intend to show our friends the customs, social norms, and different ideologies that are helpful in this world full of dynamics. As a result, they will be able to appreciate our presence in their lives as well as accept the fact that we are all equal despite the color of our skin.
Groups also provide an individual with a sense of forming his own identity. As a member of international group of students from China I am proud to be a part of it in the United States of America, especially of such learning environment with a variety of different cultures and values. This is due to the fact that this group helps me to identify who I am, who I want to be as well as what I, as an individual, can do for my friends, family and country regarding the issue of development. It is, therefore, understandable for me that nobody is “an island” and nobody can stay alone.