Under Pressure

At this time in our lives, many of us teenagers value others’ opinions more than our own.  The harsh reality is that our own opinions don’t come into play in most situations due to our obedience to falling in line with society.  I may sound like some angsty teenager, but it’s fair to say that we are at fault for going along with the majority’s view even if we don’t agree with it, at one point or another.  We’re expected to do this, because if we don’t, then suddenly there is something wrong with us. 

Society encourages us to be different and not just go with the flow, yet the second we fail to conform, we’re slapped in the face by reality.  Society wants us to all be, and work, the same.  In some ways, I can’t find much wrong with a society that works well together.  Yet, for a lot of us, this doesn’t always work out.

We follow the expectations society sets for us, at times knowing it’s not the best choice for ourselves.  We sometimes even know that the expectations are beyond our limits. These are the situations that hit us the hardest. 

For me, this hit the most in differentiated classes.  I had suddenly found myself in a situation where my abilities were expected to accelerate and outmatch those in my classes.  I  felt a sudden pressure to have to know every answer to every question, to pass every test with remarkable grades, and if I didn’t, I found myself in a mood of angst and crippling depression. 

This cycle got tiring, a situation exasperated by the lack of sleep I endured just trying to keep up with everyone else.  I was going beyond my abilities but, kept getting disappointed in myself.  Having anger in oneself over something uncontrollable isn’t fair.  It occurred to me that I had to start making better choices for myself, and if I didn’t like the type of classes I was taking, then I was going to make a change.  This is exactly what I did.

Suddenly eight hours of sleep was attainable and I found myself happier.  My expectations weren’t as high, but I based it off my own abilities.

The only expectations that will actually push you are your own.  I’ve come to discover that when others push me, it’s not as strong a drive.  It doesn’t have the same passion and fire as it does when I choose.   Working on my own expectations, setting them myself, I find myself less set up for disappointment. 

I think that’s the important thing about high school; being able to sort between what you want, knowing your limits, and being able to live up to those standards without letting others get in the way.