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Expectations: Accepting the Journey

I expect a lot from myself just as most womxn do. I have always viewed the expectations that I set for myself as evidence for when my hard work pays off, and, even more so, I have viewed them as my motivation for getting things done.

I know I am not alone in this either. I am certain that many womxn studying at UC Davis feel the same way because without setting high expectations and meeting goals, we all would not have the opportunity to study here. But too often, I am only left upset when things don’t go as planned. Where should we draw the line when we are setting expectations for our lives? And, what happens when these personal guidelines we set aren’t met, and we must accept the results of our work even though they are not exactly what we thought they would be?

Image source: Unsplash, Bence Boros 

We are surrounded by social media everywhere we go, and we can’t be blamed for being influenced by it at times. But if I am honest, these platforms are the number one culprit for striving to meet standards and expectations that are unrealistic. If you find yourself consistently using social media as the barometer for success (as I have in the past), take a step back and remember that things are never exactly as perfect as they appear through someone’s Instagram posts. Remind yourself that online, no one posts about their failures or their shortcomings.

I know my issue with expectations is that I always tend to focus solely on where I fall short; never do I think about what I have accomplished, what I have learned, and which expectations I have met.

When midterm season rolled around this quarter, I thought that I was completely prepared, and in almost all cases, I was. But I was so caught up in my own head, expecting myself to be perfect and get A’s that when I got a C+ on my statistics midterm, I was severely disappointed because it turns out I am not the statistician I thought I was.

I was upset, and I spent too much time angry with myself for not retaining the information the way I should have when, in reality, I needed to realize that I did my best at the time, and now is the time for improvement and moving forward. It took me a couple weeks to figure this out, but I found that I, along with many others, tend to focus on the end result because we see others who are already where we wish to be.

Rather than allowing ourselves to feel worthless or as if we are repeatedly falling short, we should remember that we are merely going at our own pace. The journey we must endure on the way to meeting our expectations plays a vital role in how we apply what we have learned to our future experiences. Each of us has our own journey, our own path that we need to accept. And no matter what you desire the destination to be, remember: you’ll get there. You may not know when, but if you persevere, it’ll happen.

Cover image source: Unsplash, Leon Biss 

Madi is currently a fourth-year student at UC Davis majoring in English and Poltical Science. She is currently a marketing intern for the Mondavi Center at UC Davis. Her favorite hobbies are reading, making Spotify playlists, and grabbing lattes with her girls! 
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