Unfortunately, for those of you who are looking for an analysis or summary of Charles Dickens’ classic novel, you will not find it here. But please continue reading! The purpose of this post’s title is to relate the idea of the expectations authority figures have for their children.
Ever since we were young, our parents/guardians held us to high standards, hoping to polish our manners, instill in us a wide range of morals and values, and prepare us for life, especially the educational life. Once our minds entered the world of formal learning, we encountered a few more people who accepted nothing less than success: teachers. And as our lives progressed even further we were met by coaches, instructors, club moderators, and directors who expected greatness. The main question I pose is this: Do these expectations mean anything?
To answer this, it is necessary to break down the different kinds of expectations that exist in the world. Let’s begin with our parental figures. The common thread among parents’ expectations for their children is that they “do the best they possibly can.” Yet, this is not to say that ALL parents emphasize this belief; there are a few who push the envelope a bit too far. Regardless, most young people feel that striving to achieve their personal best is a plausible expectation. Nevertheless, when college comes into the picture, expectations reach all-new levels. More about this in the next section.
Another group of people who expect a great deal from children and teenagers is teachers. But this goes without saying, right? Educators get paid to aid in student achievement and foster learning. In fact, those teachers who hold their students to high expectations are the ones who help produce the best results—good grades, standardized testing success, and most importantly, learning. But as mentioned before, once college enters the fold, expectations of teachers tend to stretch to impossible lengths.
In society today the imperativeness of going to college is embedded in the minds of students, so that they can, in turn, get quality jobs, raise families, and live life without any struggles, despite the fact that struggle is what defines us as humans. The expectations begin junior year of high school. Teachers, counselors, and parents stress the importance of report card grades and ACT/SAT scores, all the while adding a great deal of unnecessary pressure to these 16- and 17-year-olds.
While all of these people claim to only be doing what is in “our best interest,” the magnitude of their expectations is unfathomable. Several expect us to major in one area because it will produce a six-figure salary. Others expect us to pursue a career that is greatly respected, like law or medicine. But some things that are usually neglected in such decisions are passion, joy, and true happiness. The truth is, no single person is able to realize these crucial things. No one—except you. And so, it is here that expectations reach a roadblock. The only ones that really matter are yours.
But just in case you might need a little help in sorting out your expectations, I offer mine as a guide:
1) Do the best you possibly can.
2) Do something you love.
3) Be a good person.
4) Live life to the fullest.
Good luck, and thanks for reading!