I’m sure many people can relate to what I’m about to say. Over the years, I have been put on a pedestal of success. A lot of people, mainly my family, have high expectations set for me, but I didn’t realize it until later in life. During my senior year of high school, I realized how important it was to my parents that I reach these seemingly unattainable goals. Even though anything is possible when you set your mind to it, these goals felt unattainable because they weren’t goals that I set for myself.
My mother has two master’s degrees and my father has an associate’s degree. My father went to the police academy and became a federal officer, working closely with the president in the ‘80s and ‘90s. My mother’s education focused on computer technology, and she went on to have a successful career. It’s easy to say that both of my parents have been successful. However, my mother wants me to earn a Ph.D. and go beyond her level of success. I am expected to achieve great things. For instance, I am expected to graduate college on time, attend graduate school right after, get married and have a child before I reach 30 and be successful in my career before I turn 40. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a lot of weight on my shoulders.
Given the type of person I am, I know I will probably never reach the goals set for me by my mother. I know I probably won’t have that level of success in the time frame I have been given. I know many college students who stress about the next phase of their lives. I am not the only one who has been put on this pedestal of expected success by family members.
It is possible for anyone to become a CEO, be a famous author or even be the president of the U.S. It all comes down to that person’s vision of success.
My vision of success is making a positive impact on others.
I want to be a mentor for teenagers, with the ultimate goal of working in the education system. I hope to work as a guidance counselor and eventually work my way up to becoming a school principal. If I can eventually touch the hearts and minds of young people in a positive way, then I will have done my job.
Despite our differing definitions of success, my mother supports me and is proud of me. We talked about the pressure these expectations have put on me, and she told me she now realizes how hard they have been at times. Hearing this removed an abundant weight off of my shoulders.
You may have some dilemmas or roadblocks that get in the way of your goals. You may not be able to graduate on time. You may find yourself having to be the breadwinner of the family. You may find out that you’re going to be a parent during your college career.
Never let these roadblocks dismay you or keep you from reaching your goals and always choose your personal definition of success.
Only you can know what is best for you and what will make you happy. Although the people who have high expectations place pressure on you, do not let anyone dictate how you live your life. Your personal definition of success is always a valid one.