The Pressure of Expectations

Have you ever had to meet a deadline? Quality check? Anything that you had to complete with certain criteria? The truth is: many of us are faced with this on a daily basis and even multiple times a day. These are expectations set up by someone who has more authority, and the most common example of this is assignments in school or at work. In these places, you are required to complete an assignment to a certain quality and by a deadline. If it does not meet the expectations, negative repercussions often result. Sometimes, the pressure to meet expectations hurts more than it helps.
A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that teens reported being stressed at 5.8 on a 10 point scale. In addition, it’s been reported that during the months outside of school that level was significantly less coming in at 4.6. That is higher than adults who come in at 5.1 out of 10. A large percentage of this stems from the school environment and school work. The school year is very demanding for any student. Students have hundreds of assignments over the course of a year from many classes. Not to mention those are not collected and graded.
The grades provide added stress for students to perform at a certain level. In addition, many students participate in extracurricular activities or work jobs. So the remaining hours of the day after school are often busy. After factoring in eating dinner or taking care of things at home, that time becomes even shorter with the hours of home assigned. To get things done, students are turning to staying up late to finish school work. On average, teens are getting about 6 hours of sleep per night compared to the recommended 8 hours.
On top of the added stress to meet expectations in school, you add the stress that results from not sleeping enough. Those two alone account for a majority of the stress teens are experiencing. Since school and school work make up most teen stress, it can be hard for students to come to school or maintain focus in class. Speaking from experience, it can be very difficult to get up and go to school. It’s a long day of class after class after class. With each year you go through, it becomes more demanding because more is expected from you the older you get.
As a student myself, I suggest anyone who has a busy schedule or forgets tasks due to your busy day to keep a planner. Writing down everything you need to accomplish will make it easier to keep track of assignments. A planner also gives you a full schedule of your events, making it easier to not overload yourself with more things scheduled than accomplished. It also provides an opportunity to say no to additional projects or events in order to not overload yourself. This is one way to reduce stress. Getting sleep is also beneficial. You may not complete everything you had planned for the day, but talking to your teachers about due dates and getting adequate sleep can outway those costs. Less stress on you creates a better working environment.