By Angeline Cheng
Expectations, expectations, expectations… These are the reasons why heartbreaks and disappointments are everywhere. Yes, expectations live up its purpose, and it acts like a code of conduct on what to do and what not to do to save us from humiliation and downfall (Case in point: when at work, you are expected to do your job because if not, then the whole team will suffer.)
But what’s not okay is when we fail to lay down our expectations to their rightful place, especially when we start expecting from people and other things more or less than we ought to.
Below are some examples of unmet expectations you’ll have in your overall student life, and how you can handle the distress that it will bring:
1. Unmet expectations about your significant other
Surely, you have high expectations when it comes to your partner; some realistic, some way past perfection. And it sucks, knowing that your partner can’t sometimes meet your expectations and standards on a 100 percent scale.
How to deal with it: Before you start pointing fingers, maybe it’s time for you to reflect if you’ve been doing well as a partner in your relationship first. Just a slap of reality: you are not perfect, too! You also have your own faults and shortcomings in your relationship, so think twice before getting too caught up with your frustrations. If you’re looking for perfection in a relationship, then sorry to burst your bubble, but that doesn’t exist.
The foundation of lasting relationships are built on finding the goodness about each others’ imperfections, and doing something to make those imperfections better. Instead of finding fault on your partner for your every standard not met, try to talk things through first and see how you two can come to terms about it.
2. Unmet expectations about your grades in school
You might have been expecting a high grade, what will all those humongous efforts you’ve made these past weeks, not to mention the sleepless nights that comes with it. But alas, upon receiving the grades from your professors, you were beyond shocked that the grade you received is way, way lower than what you thought it would be. Yikes!
How to deal with it: Before you go on full Sparta mode and unleash the machine gun of a rant, understand that there’s a logical (and mathematical!) reason behind the grade that you’ve received. During the consultation hours of your teacher, respectfully ask them what they think your shortcomings are; they have the records to show you exactly where you excelled, where you lacked, and which areas you need to improve on. After that, make sure to heed their advice and push yourself a little bit more, especially on those areas you didn’t do so well at.
3. Unmet expectations about your teachers/professors
You may have a clear picture of what you want your professor to be: guiding, understanding, and nurturing. But honey, not every professor is like that, and trust us when we say that you’ll meet lots of toxic ones in your academic journey; some of them are discouraging, some are too know-it-all, and some won’t even attend your class until the examination day!
How to deal with it: The thing is, you can always report such kinds of incompetency to the higher ups, and let them be the one to handle the case. But don’t expect for an abrupt result! In the meantime, while there are still no concrete solutions regarding your concern, you have no choice but to do things on your own by self-studying or by planning study sessions with your classmates. In case of demotivating teachers, no matter how discouraging they may get, always try to lift yourself up because only you can save yourself amidst these moments. No matter how toxic these professors may get, never disrespect them.
4. Unmet expectations about your friends
You have your own set of qualities as a friend, and your friends also have their own. You might be expecting them to “be like this and be like that,” but they aren’t. You may also find yourself giving too much care about them but they can’t reciprocate the same. And this is where you get dismayed.
How to handle it: Accept that you do not hold your friends’ lives, because they have their own attitudes and personalities that make them who they are. Also, don’t bother yourself if they can’t give you the same amount of love you’re giving them, because at the end of the day, at least you know that you're the bigger person and that you're capable of giving so much love. If worse comes to worst, cutting people off is also an option that you shouldn't hesitate on taking.
RELATED: In Focus: 6 Ugly Friendship Truths That You’ll Learn The Hard Way
5. Unmet expectations about your school/university
It’s totally normal to have high expectations when it comes to your school, especially when your parents paid lots of moolah for it. But old-looking classrooms? Barely working air conditioners? Poorly maintained facilities? You did not sign up for this.
How to handle it: In reality, as much as you want to change your school into your own utopia, you really can’t do so much about it. One small step that you can do, however, is reach out to the student council of your school to give feedbacks on what should be improved, and let them do the talking to the school administration.
As long as they don’t hamper your security and learning experience, you’ll be totally fine. If not, you can always transfer to a better university, and when that time comes, make sure to thoroughly research about your prospect uni first or even tour it beforehand, so as to avoid yet another disappointment. But then again, always remember that your school is just an instrument, a venue for you to become the person you envision to be in the future, but the majority of the journey falls into your hands.
Jodi Picoult once said, “There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations,” and we can’t emphasize that enough. The lower your unnecessary expectations are, the happier and easier your life will be. Of course, you can’t completely erase those expectations that you have because it’s an integral part of being a human; but when you start making one, strive to make sure that it lands on significant and proper places.
ALSO READ: In Focus: Types Of Pressures You’ll Encounter In Your College Academic Life