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Open Advice on Expectations

by Hayleigh Brokaw

What expectations do you have in your life? It is usually not hard to think of a few. The list, for many people, could go on for days. Everybody lives different lives, with all different expectations. The purpose of this today is to attempt to alleviate, or even reaffirm, that you are not alone if you are struggling with the amounting pressure and stress that these expectations can bring.

I looked at my calendar, and somehow March is upon us. No matter what grade or position you are in as a student, this can be seen as the homestretch, the fourth quarter, or for some the end of a chapter. Some of us are expected to graduate, expected to find a job by this summer, or expected to get the grades that count. How on earth do you juggle this, much less successfully navigate the ropes of adulthood, or even just a rough Monday? I prefer to break it up into three sections, and maybe you will too.

First, it is important to keep a strong, but not overcoming focus on the task at hand. Whatever the expectation is, let it serve as a foundation that you choose to build on. However, do not let it become a burden. The second we train our minds to see goals and standards such as these as a burden, the less likely we are to WANT to attain them. Instead of an achievement or a positive attribute, it becomes an unwanted obligation.

Second, keep in mind what you can control. The unfortunate part of life is that there are so many confounding variables that surround us every single day. I can confidently say, 60% of the time, it may not go your way. That is okay. Instead of dwelling on the unthinkables of your expectation, focus on what you can do to make it happen. Success can be obtained within the borders of your own commitment and drive, so it is not beneficial to dwell on the things that are outside of your borders.

Finally, take a moment to remember why you have those expectations. Maybe you don’t want them, but sometimes you do need them. Whether you set them for yourself, or they were set for you, there is a purpose. Through the confounding variables in the test of life, we learn a few lessons along the way. Let your expectations for the rest of the school year, work day, or season be not a burden but a proper introduction into what is in store for you. Assuming everyone has the same definition of an expectation is unattainable, so it is better to simply wish them luck along the way. Once again, do not allow these goals to become burdens; when it comes to time, there is never enough, there is just what you choose to do with it. So from me to you, you’ve totally got this.

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