When I’m in class, my teachers talk to us about our futures and the opportunities we’ll have later on. They talk about moving on to university after graduation and then getting a job and raising a family. I realize they expect us to all follow the same worn-out path.But the truth is that not everyone graduates. Not everyone gets into university or finds a job afterwards. Not everyone follows the path, whether it’s by choice or fate.

The expectations everyone has for us are suffocating. We’re stressing ourselves out trying to fit the mold. We try our best to figure out how to balance what we want to do and what we’re told we should do in order to minimize disappointment.

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Other people’s expectations of us should not define our life decisions. We are the ones who have to live our lives. I, for one, am not interested in living a life that someone else chose for me.

I have a friend, the kind of person that can go really far in life. In reality, her plans do not at all correspond to the expectations that have been lain out for her. She’s expected to be a lawyer, or a politician, someone powerful. She wants to be a schoolteacher. She doesn’t mind that she’d be ‘giving up a whole lot of potential’ or ‘settling into a life where she could do better’. She is choosing to do what she wants to do, what she’s passionate about.

She risks disappointing a handful of people, and yet, she doesn’t care. Because she is the one who has to live her life, and she is the one who needs to be happy with her choices.

Expectations are the reason why we feel like we’ve failed if something doesn’t go our way. Expectations that other people have of us are the reason we’re stressed about making decisions and choosing our paths. We deserve to have control over our lives.
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