The Pressure of Success

Kayley Swedlund, Editor-in-Chief

As the adults of the future, we are expected to rise to very high expectations that are set by society. 

For instance, we are expected to know which college we want to go to. Then in some cases, apply for that university and get accepted into the college before you graduate. Then you have to keep up your grades while you are dumped into adulthood and to figure it all out. 

I know a lot of people have been told this already, because I have certainly been told this multiple times, these expectations are not everybody’s cup of tea. 

We have been pressured for college since we were in elementary school. Our first grade teacher wanted us to write down what we wanted to be when we grow up (like that’s not going to change). Although it’s good to have aspirations or a goal to reach after school, thinking about our future when we’re six or seven years old might not be the biggest priority.

Then by eleventh grade, we should have a pretty specific major we want to go into, as well as three universities we would like to attend, even if the idea of going to college is not appealing. We have to start applying to universities, applying for scholarships, taking out loans, using financial aid to pay for tuition, and a list of things you need to do to prepare for college before deadlines hit. 

It’s not hard to admit thinking about all the college stuff is scary. Just thinking about how much money and time it’s going to take me to put me through college for a degree is nerve-racking and stressful for me. I’m still planning on attending college, and I will never know if it will work out well in the end. As far as I know, I might have a major in something I don’t necessarily love and be in thousands of dollars of debt. 

It all really depends on what you want to do. If that doesn’t require going to college, there might be more options to do what you like doing. There is so much pressure on going to college when there is much more out in the world you can do. Even attending a university right after highschool isn’t the only option. There are community colleges you can go to, you can work at a job for a year then go back to school, you could take a gap year and travel or volunteer, or maybe getting more experience in what you want to do isn’t a bad option. 

If you are genuinely interested in going to college to learn what you love doing, then go for it. But it isn’t the only path, and it’s okay if you don’t think it is right for you. College isn’t the only option when we have so many other routes to look at to be successful and happy.