I never feel like I am able to live up to what is expected of me by others and even what I expect of myself. I was (kind of still am) the straight A student; who goes to church with grandma every Sunday, does everything she can to help others and always doing things I don’t particularly want to do in order to keep other people happy.

I just suddenly feel like I can’t be perfect anymore. School has become increasingly hard and I don’t have time to do lots of things I used to and the time I do have I would rather spend with my boyfriend… which brings me back to worrying that I’m letting him get in the way of things but thats normal right? Always want to be with him, be around him, texting him, calling him..?

I’m not saying that I don’t want to do well in school don’t get me wrong, I would love to do well. However in my recent mocks I got 2 B’s and 2 D’s (my worst grades I’ve ever had) however many students did badly as the jump between GCSE and A Level is exceptionally high. I just don’t feel like working. Last year I work so hard for my exams and I really don’t want to throw everything away.

I feel like I set my goal too high too early on and now its too late to change my mind as I have no idea what I could do otherwise. Last year I said that I wanted to become a doctor and did well enough in last years exams to do so (if I got exceptional grades this year and next) however I literally hate school. My mum hates seeing me going into school upset and I just can’t explain whats wrong. Just the thought of going to school makes me feel sick to the stomach. And yes, I am getting homework done etc but I should be putting in extra hours of ‘independent learning’ as the school likes to call it and I’m not. I hate the lessons in school so the last thing I want to be doing is schoolwork when I don’t have to be.

I can’t even live up to my grandmas expectations anymore… I used to go to her house every Saturday without fail and spend the night there and go to church with her the next day and then spend Sundays with her. I also go to church with her every Thursday to ring the bells. It’s just sometimes I don’t want to. I would rather be with my friends. However if I do cancel and tell her I don’t feel like it the guilt hits me and it makes me question everything. She says she doesn’t mind however makes little side remarks showing she notices I don’t spend as much time with her anymore and I love my grandma so much I don’t want to upset her.

I dont live up to my parents expectations either I think. They always think I should be doing more school work and not be out with my boyfriend (which sometimes I agree is true but you can’t be working all the time). My brother puts no effort in at school and my sister isn’t the brightest spark so I think I’m the one expected to do well.

Even my boyfriend has high expectations of me. It’s always encouraging support saying that if I aim high I’ll do it and so on but even so this causes extra pressure as I want to do well for him too.

If I’m honest, I am just in a bit of a state of confusion. Not knowing where my priorities should lie, how much schoolwork I should do, what I should be aiming for.

I dont have a clue about other potential jobs I could go into. It would be nice to have another career path I could aim for as i seriously think that medicine is aiming too high and makes me feel sick to even think about it as I just know deep down I would never reach this goal.

Sorry for the late night rambling, it probable makes no sense whatsoever but hopefully I can sleep now I’ve got this off my chest.

Anyways, I’m off.

Beth x



  1. Hi Beth, sorry that you have got into such a quandary. In life ones needs,aims and aspirations do change, which can lead to turmoil, especially when it comes to moving away from those that you love, and I think to some extent we have all been through some similar experiences. Perhaps you could go and see a career guidance adviser, and at the same time try to find a new interest in the subjects that you are taking at school, or maybe if you are no longer interested in becoming a doctor, change to some subjects that you prefer (though this might be to late). In think your Gran and parents will love you no matter what, so maybe do the things you used to do with them less, or find new things to do with them. Do the work, it is only a short time until school finishes, make the most of it, maybe try and think of school and learning in a different way, so that it might become more enjoyable. Spend quality time with your boyfriend, rather than more time with him, so that you can rekindle your zest for learning and for life. I hope this was helpful, good luck, best wishes and blessings, Charles.


  2. I so strongly relate to what you’re struggling with right now. I’ve been talking about this recently on my blog, too. When I was young, I was told I was “gifted.” And while this may seem like a great thing to learn when you’re five years old, it immediately set the bar very high. Again, this doesn’t seem like a bad thing, especially when you have such a good support system that is constantly telling you that you CAN reach it. But it kind of screwed everything up, too, because at a certain point, I wanted to stop trying. I wanted to continue relying on dumb luck because at least then if I failed, it would be because I didn’t try. I didn’t want to think about what would happen if I actually failed after trying my hardest…
    I spent my entire high school experience going through this, and I regret it so much. I ended up encouraging people to keep their expectations of me low so that I COULD surpass them–but I ended up feeling like a complete idiot when I graduated. I felt like I learned nothing all four years of going to that school. And now I’m in college and I feel like I have so much more to learn than my peers, which sucks. And I wish I would’ve just taken full advantage of my time in school, but I know that even if I went back, I probably still wouldn’t have tried hard in biology or chemistry–simply because those subjects didn’t interest me.
    So I hope you find classes that DO peak your interest. Or even if you’re forced to stick with subjects you hate, I hope you find things about them that you enjoyed. Or that you once enjoyed. It’s hard, but this time it going to pass whether you learn or not, and it’s also going to pass whether you stress over every test or not. You just kind of have to figure out what’s important to you and what your future self is going to thank you for. And maybe that’s time with the people you love more than time studying, and that’s okay. It’s just all about balance.


  3. I think maybe you need to step back and evaluate what you want out of life. You said you’re only 16, so you have a lot of time to figure it out. The thing with the boyfriend? You’re in puppy love, not to say you won’t fall into real love, but the constant wanting to be near him, that will fade, you’re still new to the whole experience. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. 🙂


  4. Dear Beth,
    You asked me for some advise, after reading my blog about me disappointing my grandparents (again). I was touched by your blog in ways I can’t explain. I recognize the confusion, the doubt, the ever present feeling you will never be enough. There is not enough of you to please everyone. I’ve felt like this all the time growing up, and – as you must have read – I still feel like this after taking big life changing decisions, like breaking up with Mr. P. What I’ve learned so far (being double your age) is that you will have to decide what you want first. What is it that you strive for? What would make you happy? When you have the answers to these questions, and when you’re no longer in doubt, you need to talk to your loved ones. Explain them what you want and what is important to you. Tell them you don’t want to hurt their feelings, but you have to follow your own path. If they truly love you, they will accept you just the way you are. And remember, you can only find true happiness if you stick to your own dreams, instead of trying hard to become other people’s dreams for you.
    Good luck Beth, I root for you!
    Julia Skopelos

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Beth

    I can understand what you’re feeling. It’s a very difficult time in your life with this point almost being the stepping stones to the future. Please don’t feel alone in your struggles because you are definitely not. I admire your ambition and strength to push through this rough time and I never want you to stop pushing and fighting.
    Please don’t ever feel that you’re aiming too high in your life. There is definitely no such thing as aiming too high, despite what you or anybody else may think. If medicine is your passion, then work towards it. It will be the reason you get out of bed in the morning. If you’re uncertain of careers, do some research (thank you GOOGLE), and consider job shadowing potential positions you may find appealing. You are allowed to ‘not know which direction to go in’, many people much later in life even struggle with this. Take things one day at time, set goals for yourself and celebrate the small good things in your life. Don’t worry about the opinions of others, they are not in your shoes, do what you feel is best for you right now.

    Stay strong and take care


  6. Fuck what anyone’s expectations of you are. Take a step back and evaluate what’s important to you in life, what you’re passionate about, and what makes you happy. Then harness and cherish those things.


  7. Its really hard to be on the right path living with other expectations that have immense amount of belief in you and then you are backed but everday struggles or mundane things that doesn’t fulfill you. I feel the same. Enjoyed this read


  8. I think you’re being a little too hard on yourself, it’s not surprising you’ve lost interest in school now your GCSE’s are over and you have a new boyfriend. In fact, I think many people do lose motivation at this stage. The jump up to A-level is hard and it means you need to put the work in yourself if you want to do well, but the key is to enjoy the subjects you study. Are you still interested in them? If so, then ask yourself if you really put enough work in to understand the topics in the exams, and ask your teachers for advice on how you can improve your exam technique. If your grades aren’t high enough for medicine, there are other related options such as science and the allied health professions. Your A-level grades don’t necessarily have to define your whole career! If you don’t think medicine is for you, then look into your other options now, you’re still young and you’re allowed to change your mind 🙂 I didn’t place much importance on my A levels at the time, but worked really hard when I got to university and now I study alongside medics.


  9. Beth, I feel for you. I remember feeling the same way. When I was ten I told my dad I wanted to become a doctor too but I let the pressure get to me and in the end I decided to take another path. For a long time I felt like I was a disappointment and I probably was. I want to tell you that it’s going to be okay. It’s okay to change your mind. Time is on your side but the trick is to not forget about your aspirations while you pursue other interests. Family, especially Grandparents is a tough one. If you don’t spend enough time with your grandmother it hurts her and if you spend too much time, it makes you unhappy. My best advice is to explain yourself, be honest and be loving, set a new date (Eg. Once a fortnight) and honour that new commitment. As for your parents, no matter what you choose they will always love you. I think when parents want us to do well, it’s because they want us to be well taken care of when they’re gone. Put your guilt and anxiety into perspective, why are you doing the things you do, do you really want to be a doctor or is it just the pressure of study that puts you off? If you decide to not work towards become a doctor will you regret it? I’m a huge believer of self first and then others. If I can’t rely on me, I’ll always be relying on others. You got this, Beth! 🙂


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