It's that time of the semester, that time when a lot of first year students come banging head first into the wall of expectations and find that they can't hop over with ease. They hopped over with ease in high school, they tell me, but now they have too much to do.
How much are you working, I ask? How hard?
And then I tell them that we expect 2-3 hours outside of class for each hour of class time, and they do the math and maybe realize that our expectations are greater than what they've been doing. And then they rise to meet our expectations.
In an ideal world, that happens. In a less ideal world, they want us to tell them that it's okay, that they're fine and don't have to change a thing.
But we're asking them to make changes, often big, dramatic changes. And most of them will make some changes, perhaps not quite what I'd wish, but enough to do well enough.
In my fantasy world, there's a way to convince most students coming to college that they really do need to work hard, and that what they've done previously doesn't meet our expectations now. In my real world, the only way to convince students is through painful experience. Or experiences.
I hate these conversations. I wish I could make them easier.