First, after nearly half a century on the Planet, I am learning to have my own expectations. I lived nearly all of my life attempting to live up to others’ expectations of what I did with my life. That included college.
My suggestion (advice I don’t give: “Wise men don’t need it, fools won’t heed it”) to Lea is to find a way to create your own expectations, based on who you are and what your aspirations are.
That can be a tall order for a young person. (Did I do it? Nope.). However, you guys asked the question. Find a comfort zone for yourself between the seemingly daunting heights of what you think (and others expect) the future will bring and where you are and who you are right now. Be in the moment.
Some books have helped me, such as “The Power of Now”, by Tolle. Life is to be lived and enjoyed. School ain’t no fun, and it weren’t for me (obviously, I was an English major, cum laude at that), but having said that, there are plenty of healthy extracurricular activities to be enjoyed.
Let me go out on a limb here. This is a car forum, right? So, perhaps, one activity that might stimulate the neurotransmitters and let your ya-ya’s out would be to pool your resources with a couple of college mates, go to the local Hertz rental agency and rent a Mustang for some autocross or road trip fun. Just getting in an hitting the “go” button would soften any hardened stress edges.
If I had been more attentive at your age, in your situation, etc., that’s what I might have done. It won’t get you an “A”, by it might help allay some stress.
Hmmmm, that suggestion I might take to heart. Hey, good luck, I gotta go and call the local Hertz dealer (stress don’t end with youth, you know).