Collective and Individual Identity (P. 11)

Identity is who we are, our qualities and beliefs that defines us from others.  While Collective identity is what emerges from belonging to a group.  Therefore, it is not fixed.  This belonging may cause to override the person’s personal identity.  The person might get a great satisfaction out of it or great risk.

My own identity has changed more than once over my life.  An example of a collective identity that had risks involved is something that happened to me at school years ago, I used to be ranked second in my class every year until I met some friends who had no interest in education and I started to be the same to fit in the group!  I would skip classes, sit at the back and talk and not pay attention when I used to sit in front and have answers to all my teachers’ questions.  My grades went down and I wasn’t the second in class anymore, I wasn’t even the 10th!  I passed anyway but that really affected me.  I felt that I belonged there with this group until I went to college.  Fortunately, I pulled myself out of this group and I was back to my old self again and this time got ranked first on my class and all colleges in the specialization I took.

Another small example was changing my specialization to be with my friends!  I was so confused about what I really wanted.  My personal identity was so challenging back then.  However, experimenting with different identity in the past taught me to be who I am now.  I learnt to be myself and accept who I am and respond in a way that supports my own values and standards.

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