Expectations. The one word that can subconsciously run our lives. Parents, friends, peers, significant others, and professors all expect something from us, and we feel like we have to meet or exceed their expectations flawlessly.

We’ve all felt the pressure at one point or another. We’ve felt like we had to do x, y, or z simply because someone else expected us to, or because we had the ability. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you need to or have to.

There are so many expectations society and others have for us that are nearly impossible to escape. Get good grades, play a sport, be involved in your school, drive a nice car, dress a certain way, get a good job, etc. All too often the unrealistic expectations we feel we have to live up to lead to burnouts or mental breakdowns trying to be everything, achieve everything, and have everything. But let’s be honest, it’s not realistic.

We all need a reality check sometimes. Just the other day I was in bed sick after being in the hospital twice and was worrying about who was taking notes in my classes, and if my peers would have a study guide for their exam if I missed too much. So, I pushed myself to go to class and take notes but came home even worse than before. I wasn’t ready. I expected my body to be able to take the strain, and I just couldn’t. The worst part? I wasn’t in class for me, I was there for them. For my peers who, in my mind, rely on my notes to study. It wasn’t realistic.

A group of 22 year olds can take their own notes and make their own study guides, but I expected myself to be everything for them whether they needed me to or not. So, I finally took a hint, took a break, and let my body heal. It was the best thing I could’ve done for myself and for them. My notes from class were less than stellar because I couldn’t focus with how I was feeling. When I went back to class healed and healthy, I was better than ever and ready to be a help once again.

That’s the thing, sometimes you have to take a break. It’s not just for you, it’s for those who need you. You’re not going to help anyone if you’re burnt out, exhausted, stressed, and to your limit. So know your limit, take a break when you need one, and don’t let expectations run you into the ground.

It’s not realistic to expect that you’ll always make a 4.0 GPA. It’s not realistic to expect that your eyeliner is going to wing perfectly every day. It’s not realistic to expect perfection from yourself, when you’ll accept just average from everyone else. It’s not realistic to think you’re going to be able to live up to everyone’s expectations. You’re a human, and you’re going to mess up, let someone down, or not meet the goal, and that’s okay.

Corrie L
FFL Cabinet Member
Corrie is a Cabinet Member at FFL. She is passionate about coffee, Jesus, and lipstick, and never wears white after Labor Day. If she isn't busy talking about law school or FFL, you can find her studying constitutional law or reviewing a contract. Her plan A is Super Mom turned Supreme Court Justice, and she hopes to one day be just like Sandra Day O"Connor.

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