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Setting Expectations

Sometimes we put an enormous amount of pressure on ourselves to meet incredibly high expectations.  Mature students often expect a lot of themselves in school because they are so focused on their goals of achieving their credential.  Of course we need to set expectations, but they need to be realistic.  If you’ve been out of school for a while, it may be unrealistic to get an A+ on every assignment, test, paper or exam that you write in your first term.  However, you can expect to work hard and to encounter some challenges along the way.  Balance that by expecting to find reward for hard work and solutions to difficulties and problems; expect you will find strength with every difficulty or problem you overcome.  Here are a few tips:

  • Be realistic in setting expectations – set them high, but not so high you cannot achieve them. However, don’t set the bar so low that you will live down to those expectations. Be aware of what you desire and the actions you will need to take to find what it is you are looking for. When you expect something, you will look for it – make sure that what you are expecting is what you want.
  • Learn how to balance all of the demands on your time
  • Talk to your supporters about your experiences, your fears & hopes.  They can help put your experiences in perspective or simply listen if that’s all you need.
  • Set your own expectations, don’t let others set them for you
  • Write down your goals.  Use the SMART method of goal-setting (Specific, Manageable, Attainable/Achievable, Realistic & Timely).  Revisit them and revise them if necessary on a regular basis

I don’t know how to use a computer well.  Everything at the college seems to involve computers or the internet.
Don’t let any unfamiliarity with technology discourage you.  Every student takes a class to assist you in learning how to use the computer and internet (ICA 001).  There is also lots of support through the student help desk located in every learning commons.  You can access their assistance in person, through email or on the phone.