Meet Your Own Expectations

Mike - Moraga, California
Entered on January 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem, work
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High school students are put under constant pressure and scrutiny. Everything we do is observed through a microscope and yet we never seem to come up to par. Too many times we fall short of the expectations of others. Your parents are disappointed when you get a B instead of an A. Colleges won’t look at your transcript because your GPA isn’t high enough. You can’t seem to do anything right on the football field. It’s a miracle we survive.

One thing that would make a little more sense in the life of a high school student, and reduce some stress, is if we strive to reach our own expectations. I believe we have to be satisfied with attaining personal goals and not the goals of others, such as our parents, or teachers, or even friends.

Life is fraught with personal gains that go unnoticed by others. Don’t let that get you down. It’s important to recognize these personal victories, because they can really get you through the day. I was struggling in my sophomore English class; I couldn’t seem to do very well on any of my essays. I believed my teacher to be a soulless witch who wouldn’t give a grade higher than a C. Needless to say, I was frustrated. But I realized that I could get an A, just maybe not on my first few tries. With every successive essay, I improved. I don’t remember if I ever did get that A, but it doesn’t matter. I improved throughout the whole year and I couldn’t ask anymore of myself.

In high school, every student is waiting for the next step, SAT’s, college “apps,” and finally college. While I also plan to go to college, I still want to live for now – for my own enjoyment today. Life shouldn’t be a constant chore. One of my favorite movies is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Bueller’s escapades while he plays hooky result from his desire to rebel against the standard guidelines and boundaries of his life. He imparts us all with great words of wisdom: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So stop, relax, and think about what you want to do with your life, not what will get you the most money, or what someone told you is the right path to happiness and success. I know I am going to have to live with the decisions I make, so I want to make sure they are my decisions. So while others strive for the next step, a well-known college, a high-paying job, the step they are told is ideal, I’ll be searching for the right step, my step.