Episode 4, Expectations: What Are They? Where Do They Come From?

In this episode, Selorna Ackuayi and Dr. David Rivera provide their expertise on how to navigate and process multiple sources of expectations and stressors.


More on this topic from our 
Youth Advisory Board members:

Reflections on Expectations

By Kaelyn Huang
 
There are about 7.8 billion people in this world. You’d be a fool to think that 7.8 BILLION people have the same goals and will take the same roads to get there. We’re humans. We’re all different. What do you expect? 
 
Many of us live our lives with seemingly one goal: to be happy. And to be happy, we set goals to go to our dream university, reach our desired career, have a family by the age of 25, and maybe travel the world. Unfortunately, these goals are shaped by societal expectations on a society-based timeline. This timeline can be extremely detrimental to our own well-being when we don’t appear to be at the same stage of life in comparison to others. The truth is, we don’t all go to our dream university, we don’t always become what we want right away, and we don’t all have families at 25. It’s unfortunate, right? 
 
Remember how I said that there are 7.8 BILLION people in this world? Well, guess what? This means that there are 7.8 BILLION different roads we take to reach our own goal. And here’s the fun part. We each have our own lives. We have the opportunity to make the most of what we are given and take the chance to do what we want. A lot of the time, we find ourselves tirelessly comparing the lives of others to our own. And that’s because we conform to societal views that have shaped our desires and our expectations to live life a certain way. I know that the idea of individualism is a hard concept to grasp, especially for teens (like me!). As I apply to my dream university and aspire to become a physician, I know there’s a chance it won’t happen. And that’s okay! If I don’t get into my dream school, I have a number of other colleges I love. And if I don’t become a doctor the first time around, I can always try again. My point is, there are a bunch of different ways for me to pursue life and my own dreams. Life is short. I, even YOU, can’t be focused on that supposedly one right way to do things (aka live life according to society). I have to focus on the other opportunities given to live a life, my life, the way I want to. And if I can live my life mindfully, I, out of 7.8 billion people, can reach my one goal: to be happy.