The Influence of Expectations
Whenever I prepare for a big test or even after taking a test, I always try to imagine the worst that could happen. Some may think of this mentality is a negative way of treating challenges, but in the end, I believe this method always benefits me. I feel like I will always be able to handle the task at hand better than most people. In addition, this mindset could be a cushion to unideal results, or it could amplify the joy to ideal ones. While setting lower expectations for day-to-day activities may seem insignificant now, in the long run, these mind games can balance a person’s stressful, thought-provoking life. And thus my motto, lower your expectations because the bigger your dreams, the bigger you will fall, and also work hard to meet your expectations.
I use this mentality for many different things other than before and after tests, such as lowering my expectations for a restaurant, an activity, or even a game. Of course, the total lack of self-esteem isn’t acceptable either. Many motivational speakers encourage people to believe in themselves, and these influencers aren’t wrong. I don’t believe setting low expectations and believing in yourself is necessarily contradictory. For example, when I took the AP Biology final exam, I had faith in my ability to achieve a decent score, but before the test, worries flooded my mind, and despite my confidence, I still studied all night for the upcoming test, and expectedly, it resulted in a decent score. On the contrary, my confidence in mastering a subject, once again in AP Biology, this time has blinded my realization in how difficult the material another test actually was. In fact, just about everyone was confident before taking this test, and after taking the test, we were all regretful of how much more we could’ve done to prepare for this test. Being anxious after tests help as well. After my test, my worries continue to aggravate, but it would remind me to pay attention to certain details or not to make the same mistake as I did last time. But ultimately, over-preparing is always better than being overconfident.
I believe my motto can become my propeller for success in life. Although some may critique that this method would increase stress instead of reducing it, but I think I’d rather worry before a test than after. Many people follow this ideal, and I am glad to be one of them.