Stress, Pressure, & Expectations After Education

You know, some people say their school years were the best years of their life. They say that everything becomes a lot harder, a lot more difficult after you finish school, when you, as they say, enter the big wide world. And many of us who are still in school & who are told this do not believe it. I mean, I myself didn’t really believe it to be honest. I personally thought that everything would become a lot easier after I finished school. The pressure & stresses of assignments, homework, exams, & the HSC (for NSW) or its equivalent gone, & the freedom to do whatever you want to do with your life taking its place is what many of us would associate with the end of our school years. But it seems that is often too good to be true. Because once the pressure & stresses of school are gone, the pressure & stresses of life take their place.

I myself have now turned into one of those who see the bigger picture quite clearly. If you asked me what my feelings were towards school & life during my school years, I would’ve told you that I couldn’t wait to get out into the world & live a life of freedom, just writing whatever came to me. I would have added that I wanted to be an accomplished author, writing books, telling stories, exploring new worlds, making people feel excited, amazed, happy. And in saying I couldn’t wait to get out of school, it’s not like I didn’t enjoy school. In fact, that’s where I forged friendships that have transcended many years, & learnt many lessons, many of which I carry on with me throughout my life & pass on to others. And I had some of the greatest teachers to help me along the way, & one of them even follows my blog (thanks Ms Jones!). School is a great place to start your journey to your ultimate goals. It’s a great place to meet new people, forge long-lasting, even lifelong friendships, and gain insight into the world, constructing your future & helping build the future of others. It’s great. It does carry with it some pressure & stresses in the form of assignments, homework, exams, & the final Year 12 examinations, however, it is worth the ride. And there is so much truth to people saying that your school years are the best years of your life. I would even agree with those people now. Here’s why.

When people leave school nowadays, after completion of their Year 12 studies & their final exams, they celebrate. They celebrate getting through 12-13 years of school, & completing every last piece of a pretty significant puzzle in their life. They celebrate because the stresses & the pressure in school is now over, & they are excited about the future, about their freedom to do what they want to do in the world, what they may have been planning to do for all those years. But after the celebrations are over, the real challenge begins. Some decide to go to university & study courses in which they can build a path to their dream career. Others get down to business right away. I’ll use myself as an example. For many years at school, I said that all I wanted to do was write. I said it was my passion, & that when I finished school, I was going to get right down to business & start writing stories, work on books, & just write. And that I did. In fact, I began earlier. I started writing playscripts & monologues & stories before I finished school. I even began work on some novel ideas, & I started planning them out, developing them. I began to create characters to fit the stories, & plots to draw readers in. And, aside from that, I created this blog. I thought, why not get my name out there, & write about current issues & events, about life. And I could share some stories as well. And so, JJ’s Outlook was born. But that’s enough about me, this is about everyone.

No matter what you do, whether you decide to go to university or not, whether you get straight down to business, or take a gap year to explore the world & explore your own personality & who you are as a person, you will be successful in life as long as you believe in yourself. When you enter the world after school, you do have the freedom to do whatever you may choose, no matter what anyone else tells you. After school, you might feel there is a lot of pressure on you to do something amazing, to work hard, to get a job if you don’t already have one, to go to university, to do your family proud. You might feel as if your family is watching you, that their eyes are now focused very much on you, & that they are waiting to see what you do next. They might even ask you what you’re doing with your life, & what you’re going to do next, multiple times. And you may feel like there is pressure mounting on you, & you may become stressed because of this. But as long as you believe in yourself, you will be fine, you will be successful, you will be happy. You can’t give in to the pressure you’re feeling, & the stress that accompanies it. In the modern day, there seems to be this generalized expectation that, once an individual finishes school, they will either go to university or go to work straight away, no questions asked. And I honestly believe expectations like these need to be eradicated. Because this is what causes people to stress out about their lives & about their futures. They might want to take some time off, they might want to do something spectacular with their lives. They might even just want to put their ideas to paper & write to their heart’s content. And expectations cannot, & will not take that away from them.

And so I say this: believe in yourself. When you finish school, celebrate, because you have just accomplished one of the biggest achievements in your life. Whatever you do next is up to you, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Dream about the future, your future, where you will be successful. And when you feel the weight of the world bearing down on you, when you feel that your family or friends or anyone else is looking at you, watching for your next move, & when the pressure begins to build, & the stress starts to take over, dream & believe. Dream about the amazing, bright future you’re going to have, & believe that it’s going to happen. Believe in yourself. Because that’s what counts. If you can believe in your dream & in yourself, you can make the future that you dream a reality. You can live your life to the fullest, & not look back with any regrets. Believe in yourself. Make that future happen. And don’t let the pressure of the world overpower you. Believe.

JJ

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