I was the girl in high school who could not wait another day to graduate and go to college. The day I got my acceptance letter I started a Pinterest board called “College”. I saved pins on how to study, stay organized and stay healthy. I even pinned room decor on this board. This Pinterest board kept me occupied on most of my sleepless nights but, it also made the end of the school year and summer feel like they were dragging on. I expected everything to work out perfectly when I got to college because I thought I had planned it so perfectly.  This can also be the case in an academic environment. For example, have you ever expected to get a good grade on an exam and it ends up being your worst grade yet? Expectations can cause damage to students socially, mentally and academically.

In Ian Chipman’s “The Power of Realistic Expectations” Chipman interviews Rob Urstein about expectations placed on students that lead to the “achievement gap”. Students are expected to meet their school’s academic requirement otherwise they will be placed on academic probation. Schools and universities across the nation expect that a letter of academic probation will encourage the student to get back on track. Meanwhile, students view being put on academic probation as a punishment for not being good enough. Urstein also mentions that academic probation letters can put doubt into underrepresented students minds which then creates the achievement gap.  This achievement gap and the expectations of students can make students feel as if they don’t belong socially and/or academically.

I learned that coming to college wouldn’t be as easy as pinning things on Pinterest. Just because one study habit worked for someone on Pinterest, didn’t mean it would work for me. I didn’t understand this until I came to college and figured it out with trial and error. Chipman and Urstein highlight this idea that expectations don’t always come out the way you want them to or expect them to.

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