In 1981 a song you might recognize titled “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie was released. I was listening to this song recently and I thought how I naturally related it to my life thus far.
“Pressure, pushing down on me, pressing down on you no man ask for.”
There’s no two ways about it life is full of pressure. Pressures we don’t ask for. The pressure to do well in school. The pressure to eat right, exercise and be healthy. The pressure to be thin. The pressure to fit in. The pressure to fulfill the American dream by being successful.
For me it’s senior year. My fellow students and I feel the pressure to graduate. The pressure to get a full time job. The pressure of interviewing for that job. The pressure of being accepted into grad school and more.
“Under pressure…splits a family in two, puts people on streets.”
Everyone is trying to “Keep up with the Jones’,” (not the Kardashians) today. Pressures to make ends meet, to raise children right, and to maintain a loving relationship, can all lead to divorce, splitting families apart. People cave under pressure, give up and wind up with nothing.
“It's the terror of knowing, what this world is about. Watching some good friends screaming 'Let me out'! Pray tomorrow gets me higher.”
It’s a complex world out there, and after graduation I’ll be facing it head on. I’ll have more responsibilities than ever before. I imagine during at least one point during your life someone you knew was under so much pressure about one thing that they were just begging for it to be over. I think a common example amongst college students is public speaking. You sit at your desk waiting for your turn. You think about the presentation and start to feel nervous and anxious. Then you feel the pressure because you want to do well and receive a high grade. Finally, you reach the tipping point where you say to yourself “let’s just get it over with already!” In the end though, you hope that it is all worth your while. Dealing with all the pressures in hopes that tomorrow you will be better off because of it.
"This is ourselves, under pressure."
So here is a nickels worth of free advice for you all, don’t succumb to the pressures. Don’t let them run your life. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failures can lead to successes. Homer Hickam, a former NASA engineer, built rockets with his friends in high school. He wrote about it in his book called “Rocket Boys, later adapted into the film “October Sky” (rearrange the letters from Rocket Boys and you’ll get October Sky) Homer and his friends failed over and over…and over until they built a successful rocket. So, if at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
“Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen."- Conan O'Brien