January 20, 2020
Sometimes it just feels like everyone’s expectations of you are too much. The pressures of school and work are increasing as your time is decreasing. More is expected of you than previous generations, with less free time to relax and enjoy life. The call of social media and other internet pastimes is a loud voice, while there are more pressures to use substances, too. That is not considering the expectations that your culture or family may place on you, too. Some days it just feels like the pressure is crushing you, and you don’t know how to deal with everything.
Pressures of School and Work
In our society, the pressure to take increasingly difficult classes, even college level classes in high school, is now considered normal. To get into a good college, you are expected to have a full resumé of extra-curricular activities as well as work experience, ideally an internship or work experience in your desired field. With the competition for spots in college so competitive, grades are more important than ever, too. Communication about grades now instantaneous, so many students become almost addicted to checking their scores around the clock, increasing the pressure to do well in school.
College is more competitive than ever, too, and more expensive than ever. In addition to trying to even get the classes needed to graduate and dealing with ever-changing requirements and over-crowded classes, when you graduate, you often have a debt load that seems insurmountable. Many fields have salaries that do not match inflation and the general cost of living, let alone allow you to pay off those student loans. There may also be pressure to attend a specific school, based on family preferences, which may be particularly difficult to get into based on academics, or may be particularly costly. It is easy to see why you might get stressed out about school and work.
Pressures of Social Media
There is also a lot of pressure around social media and other online hobbies. Having the perfect pics for your Instagram account, both the social pressures and bullying of other social media accounts, or the pressure to keep up with gamers who are professional can all add to your stress load. Some people even lead almost two lives, one in reality and one virtual, and that is very hard to keep up with. The time you can spend trying to keep up in your virtual reality can put even more stress on your actual reality.
Pressures of Culture and Family
Some cultures put pressure on you to do certain things or accomplish certain things. This is especially true of families where no one has graduated from college before, the pressure for you to be that first one to graduate with a four-year degree can be immense, even if you are still living with the same circumstances that prevented those before you from attending college.
Other families put certain pressures and expectations on you to achieve certain grades, attend a certain college, or enter a certain profession. They don’t always hear you when you tell them that those plans are not what you want, or even what you are capable of. Your strengths may be in other areas, and that creates tension on top of the other stress. Sometimes families put pressure on you without realizing the other stressors that you have that maybe they did not when they were your age. Familial pressure can be particularly difficult to manage.
Pressures to be “Normal”
There is a cruel expectation that society places on you, and that is the word “normal.” The idea that we must all look, be, and act like everyone else is so unfair. It puts so much pressure on everyone, but even more so on people like you who have “invisible” challenges like depression or anxiety. No one can see what is going on inside of you, and stigma, as well as that pressure to be like everyone else keeps you from talking about it.
Managing the Pressure
The hardest part about having all of this pressure is that it places your mental health at risk. If you didn’t have anxiety, depression, substance use, or other issues already, this kind of life could definitely see the onset of mental issues. Because stress is linked with depression, anxiety, substance use, and more, it is a vicious cycle that you can be caught in.
Communication is one of the best ways to manage the pressure. Tell those around you the stress that you feel and the expectations you feel you have to live up to. Take advantage of programs that will help your mental health and increase your ability to communicate. This will make you stronger and more capable of dealing with the pressure.
The pressures that you feel are likely very real. Living up to others’ expectations can be difficult, if not impossible. Living with anxiety, depression, and substance use can be even more overwhelming. Ask for help. Learn to balance your life. Find a treatment program like Embark Behavioral Health where you can find mental health and learn the skills to help you succeed, even under pressure. Don’t let the pressure break you and lower your expectations of yourself. Get help today to manage a better tomorrow.
The pressure is real, but you are stronger than you know. Get help by calling Embark Behavioral Health 1-855-809-0409 today. Find the strength to be mentally healthy and withstand the pressures of your life.