Whether you’re in a different country, state, city, school, or household, everyone will have expectations and standards that they will have to meet. And no matter what, you will feel the pressure. These expectations come from anyone and everyone around you. Your mother, your father, your siblings, your friends, your teachers, yourself. In my opinion, the expectations you give to yourself are the worst and hardest.
No one can escape the prison of expectations. They will limit you, they will cause you stress, they will ruin you inside and out. But they can also push you to be a better person, a better student, a better player. Expectations can help you reach your full potential. But how does one know when it’s too much? How does one deal with the different expectations expected of them? How does one react when they don’t reach these expectations? How does one realize they have to stop beating themselves up for not reaching the standards and just accept that it’s okay. No one is perfect. That you don’t have to be perfect.
You can’t help but beat yourself up for not being “perfect” enough. Expectations despite the different kinds, all associate with the word “perfect”. Maybe this is just my view on it, but with all the expectations I’m faced with, if I can’t meet to them, I’m not good enough or perfect enough. That sucks, huh? It shouldn’t be that way for me or anyone facing expectations.
An expectation that many high school students face these days is that they have to know what they want to do after graduation. Many of us actually don’t know. And those who do? Still get doubts and are never 100% sure if that’s what they want to do. If a student doesn’t know, it makes them seem unorganized or even hopeless in their future. THIS IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT. The stigma around not knowing what we want to do at the age of SIXTEEN is ridiculous. Not to mention, when you get older and still don’t know what to do. Why? Why does society think that knowing what we want makes us better than others? It doesn’t. Students shouldn’t be held for an expectation that is unreasonable (not to mention highly stressful) and ever-changing.
I’ve mentioned briefly above the good results that come with expectations, and they’re true. Expectations aren’t all that bad. It’s good to push yourself, it’s good to have goals. It feels amazing when you reach that goal; you feel pride and joy for achieving something you work so hard on. Standards are just the same.
There are multiple types of standards. Beauty standards, education standards, familial standards, personal standards. That’s only to name a few. Many factors play into these standards. Culture, surroundings, society, personality. And no matter what, the consequences are pressure, stress, and uncertainty.
While reading an article about this topic by Daniel Scott at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ (I’ll leave the link below) he mentions that “A standard is a level of quality, something that is accepted as a norm, and generally used as a basis for judgment. An expectation is a strong belief that something is going to happen in the future, or a feeling that someone or something is going to achieve something.” Simply, he says, “One is fact, the other fiction.” I couldn’t agree with him any more.
A standard I face a lot is perfection. Being the best student, the best daughter I can be. Being the best version of myself. Make no mistakes. I already set this standard for myself but my parents also have this standard for me. It’s one thing to expect big things from yourself but from someone you truly care about and look about to? It’s hard as hell.
I understand that every parent wants their child to be the best version they can ever be. I know. I do. I get it. But what about when I can’t? What about if whoever I become isn’t what they expect? Will they be disappointed? Will I always be the daughter who was never good enough? These thoughts suck. Why should a daughter (or son) ever doubt the unconditional love every parents possessed for their children? Honestly, the pressure children face isn’t their fault nor the parents. It just happens. And the standard I face is true. I always need to be a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend, a better student. It’s just overwhelming when this standard is being enforced by myself and my parents. It’s difficult enough to face the bully that is my mind.
Standards, you can take charge of. Expectations, you force on others. Taking the words from Scott himself, it’s more “empowering” to know you have other options to reach the standards that are uniquely yours rather then live in a flood of disappointment because truth is, you can only change you, not others.
While I writing this post, I didn’t really have an intentions. At first, I wrote about standards, then evolved to expectations, next, I started to wonder, is there a difference between the two? I used these two words in a different way but it was so similar I didn’t really think about the fact that in context, standards and expectations could mean the same thing or two different things. For me, even though standards and expectations are very similar, standards seem to be the more positive than expectations. So, that makes them different as well.
I hope this rant didn’t confuse you, ’cause I seem to be scatter-brained. 😛
Keep calm and smile on!
Link to article by Daniel Scott. All thoughts and rights go to him. Plagiarism not intended.