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The Wrangler

The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

Living up to Expectations

In this current society, the expectations from both others and ourselves have the ability to shape our lives drastically.

Expectations are an intrinsic part of life; whether they are from others or ourselves, they have an undeniably large impact on our lives. Most of the time, expectations are meant to help us reach our full potential and achieve our goals while pushing us beyond our comfort zones. In both school and work environments, we constantly feel the weight of expectations and the pressure to meet them. 


The pressure to meet expectations stems from our unwavering desire for validation, which comes naturally as humans. From childhood aspirations instilled by parents to cultural norms created by society, we continuously seek acceptance and approval from others or even ourselves. However, this can turn into an unhealthy pursuit of perfection, and thus we find ourselves spending our whole lives trying to live up to these expectations.


On the surface, expectations seem to be beneficial and completely harmless. They serve as strong motivation to achieve goals and provide us with direction. For example, the anticipation of meeting expectations fuels us with determination and perseverance. Along with motivation, they give us a sense of clarity and purpose, which can help people who are unsure about their future. Once we finally meet those expectations, we also feel self-happiness and greater life satisfaction.


However, when they become excessive or extreme, the line between self-satisfaction and anxiety blurs and expectations have the opposite effect. Expectations can carry along with them great pressure that is overwhelming. The constant urge to meet expectations can even hinder a person’s ability to perform at their best. In addition to pressure, both the fear for failure and desire for perfectionism grows. Eventually, such harsh expectations can topple someone’s overall well-being and leave them with tiring burdens.


For me, the greatest expectation of all is the legacy my siblings have made at my school. Their reputations are placed on me especially by teachers, and I often find myself striving to meet these standards and perform as well as them. However, I have made sure to maintain a healthy balance of following my siblings’ steps and carving my own path. Eric Gao (9) also shares his opinion on the duality of expectations, stating that “Expectations are an aspect of everyone’s life, and for myself, it is my leading role in prioritizing actions. It can bring a sense of urgency to alleviate procrastination as well as set goals to be completed.” He goes on to explain that they are “dependent [on] their experiences and worldview. If expectations are set correctly, it should be a factor to encourage growth and be something to work towards.”

Expectations are an aspect of everyone’s life, and for myself, it is my leading role in prioritizing actions.

— Eric Gao (9)


In the current world we live in, it’s impossible to not feel constant expectations set on us. Ultimately, in order to navigate these expectations, we must learn to create realistic goals for each other and ourselves and accept that not everything must be perfect. By doing so, one can pave the way for a much more fulfilling and balanced life.

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About the Contributor
Derek Truong
Derek Truong, Photojournalist
Derek Truong is a freshman at Yorba Linda High School. He is excited to begin his high school journey and is incredibly excited to be part of The Wrangler for the first time. Derek enjoys soccer, graphic design, and photography. This year, he wants to join the YLHS Men’s Soccer Program. Derek also likes to challenge himself academically. Currently, he is enrolled in several Honors classes and one Advanced Placement (AP) course along with Newspaper. In the next few years, he will join Yearbook, AP United States History, AP Psychology, and AP Spanish. Outside of school, Derek loves hanging out with friends, spending time with family, traveling, and listening to music. As a freshman, Derek is excited to see what the next four years will bring!

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