High Expectations set high stress levels

Emily Shephard, Co Editor

Since many of us have been kids, we have had high expectations to do well in and out of school; however, no one addresses the damage that high expectations have on children at a young age.
Archer has been known as an A+ school for the past few years and has continued to excel in University Interscholastic League academics, but it is hard to continue to excel in multiple areas of a small school. For the junior class, when it comes to succeeding in UIL they have always had a leg up on the competition– advancing past district and even going as far as winning first in state for some. When those goals are accomplished while still having a lot of their high school career left, they feel the need to place high again. This can cause severe anxiety and stress when the UIL season hits, and because we are such a small school, many students are stretched thin as it is and gone for what feels like weeks at a time to represent the school in various events. The high stress level can cause students to have a mental break while they try to keep up with the hectic schedule.
Personally, I find it hard to cope with the pressure of trying to keep up with my classmates’ successes. During debate season, I know that I have the ability to do the best that I can; however, my sophomore year I made it to state and since then I’ve felt the need to continue to do such. My class is extremely competitive academic wise which means that we’re always trying to do well no matter what. It is safe to say that we are not used to the idea of failure. It is not our personalities’ fault for the way that we act, but the way that we were “expected” to do in certain aspects growing up. It is important to motivate us to do well but at a certain point the expectations can become overwhelming.
Parents are not the only ones who place unrealistic expectations; teachers do also. Unrealistic expectations also cause students to develop “people pleasing” tendencies as they grow up. Mentally, being expected to succeed in all aspects of life alters people’s perspective of what failure means. They could develop the fear that when they fail they’ll be punished or berated for not doing as well as they normally do. Teachers do not mean to cause such harmful habits, but all teachers want their kids to do well and the constant pushing can end up resulting in a negative effect on the psyche.
I do not believe that high expectations are horrible for people to have for others; however, constant pushing to do well without a break or an option to fail causes mental problems, low view on self-worth and a swayed view on what failure really is.