BEYOND | The Changes in Our Expectations of Success


A fortune about success | Photo Credit: Jeff Hester via Creative Commons

Thinking back to the time before COVID-19, there were a multitude of expectations we held regarding success. Some key examples of this include: maintaining very good performance, consistent and strong punctuality, and other reasonable expectations that are often emphasized strongly within the many different job and educational expectations.

When COVID-19 hit, our overall expectations went all over the place. Suddenly a lot of things became forgivable on a large margin, and there are so many things such as tardiness and quality of work that have changed. This is largely due to the threat and concern of the effects of the coronavirus, as how the panic from the pandemic affected a great deal of the way we functioned in society. Education expectations had especially gone from intense and achievement-driven to effectively more understanding, as the shift from in-person classes to Zoom was fairly stressful on students. It is comforting to see the way professors responded effectively to the needs of students considering the difficult time that many were going through.

This is also promising for the future of our country, despite some of the issues that exist with the communal expectations with masks, we have maintained the perspective that nobody should be made to deal with the motions of the coronavirus without the proper accommodations to their work expectations first. In an unexpected way, we maintained an underlying sense of community through the struggle of COVID-19 at its worst, and this has carried through in most all environments, including UIS. This means even better things for UIS,  as it can mean that we will treat the pressure we place on college students as less necessary, and provide more understanding towards the other multitude of natural pressures that exist within college environments. This has led to considerably more time being allowed to complete assignments, as well as the ongoing expectation of a willingness to work with students on personal issues.

One of the things that has changed since the improvement of the pandemic is the reaction we have held towards failure as well. The experience of failure used to be something that was looked upon negatively at some point, but now there is this greater sense of general understanding towards the stress that can lead to failure. This will be valuable in a more general sense, as the change to our view of failure and success can allow greater opportunities in which we can succeed in new ways. Overall, as a community we have achieved a valuable degree of change that COVID-19 has introduced, and this is something we can no doubt be grateful for.