2018 has quickly dawned on us and we are faced with a new year and possibly, a new you. Like most people, I’m sure you have New Year’s resolutions that you have either failed already or have surprisingly managed to maintain. With us reaching week 6 of this schooling year, it is safe to say that we have really been thrown into another year of homework, studying, extracurricular activities and expectations. We all have our own personal expectations as well as aspirations and goals we want to achieve for this new year. Maybe you want to get into that sports team, get your desired grades, develop a new skill or maybe something small like spending less time on Buzzfeed quizzes? Or perhaps it’s not personal expectations but the heavy expectations of those around you.
Expectations at the beginning of the year tend to be the scariest because you have a whole year of expectations ahead of you. There is pressure to meet these expectations and the daunting fear of failure. Personally, I find that the new year acts as a form of motivation to meet expectations because I either want to maintain and uphold my successes from the previous year or I want to redeem myself. As that first trial comes up, that first test comes up or that first application comes up, expectations are always joined to the hip with the fear of failure. Nobody wants to fall short and disappoint themselves and then be reminded by the pity of others that you couldn’t pull through.
In the past, as a junior, I would confuse my personal expectations with ambitious hope which would leave me obsessing over how I could essentially get what I wanted. However, when I would fall short and fail, it would leave me defeated, frustrated and in a negative mindset. This idea of expectations was derived as a child from primary, as I was taught to set goals and expectations for myself but didn’t know it would become so toxic to me. As life went on I moved from expectation to expectation and disappointment to disappointment. Sure, I did have some successes along the way but it was the disappointments which stuck with me.
As time went by, I started to grow up and change and I learned to set my expectations lower and more realistically. However, this didn’t stop the expectations of those around me. As you grow older you are thrown into more responsibilities and more opportunities which either yourself or those around you expect you to do. Being surrounded by constant expectations for this new year could be beneficial though. A study was done just last month by the National Research University Higher School of Economics showed that those who set themselves high expectations of how they would perform in an exam actually attained those higher results. So, maybe it is better to set high expectations if you want to be ‘successful’. With more expectations for successes there comes pressure which can be a lot sometimes. You want to do one thing, another person wants you to something else. It can honestly be suffocating at times but the successes can be rewarding.
2018 does present us with new expectations but that is what lead us to get places. Yes, it does come with its struggles but it makes it all worth it in the end. Think of an expectation or goal this year and think about how you’ll achieve it. There is the idea of failure in the way but so is the idea of success. Maybe 2018 will be your year, who knows? It is still early enough to make that change.
Written by Caitlyn Khoo
Edited by Tara Jackson