Why are you at UAMS? No, really, why did you choose us for your education? Educators talk a lot about expectations, usually referring to the expectations they have for their students. But faculty expectations for education is only part of the equation. Students bring their own expectations, and they should be examined as well.
It’s Your Education
Okay, so it’s your education. What are you expecting? You started this journey for a reason. What was it? What are you expecting to get out of it? These questions will determine the time and effort you are willing devote to your schooling, so you need to ask yourself, what do you expect?
Look, a health sciences education isn’t easy. There are books full of facts that your instructors say that you need to know. You are expected to learn a wide variety of procedures that will need to become second nature. You have to grapple with ethical issues that will inform your future practice. Will it be enough? Will you be ready? Or, is it all too much? The answers to these questions depend partly on your expectations.
If you don’t know why you are here, or what you want, you won’t be able to answer these questions. Sometimes, people choose a path because they don’t have anything better in mind. They adopt a “why not” attitude. They drift through courses, not unhappy, but not fully engaged either. Without a set of reasonable expectations based what they want out of their education, they can’t be truly successful.
So, do you know what you expect and why?
Examine your Expectations
Take time to think about your expectations for your education. How informed are they? Did you know what your education would be like? Will it get you where you want to be? Were you realistic? If you know why you are here and what you want, but find that some of your expectations were unrealistic, then maybe you need to modify your expectations.
Expectations should change a bit when they encounter reality. Like so many things in life, you rarely know what to expect until you have at least some experience behind you. So expect to make some adjustments. When your expectations are aligned with your experience, your motivation and satisfaction increases. If they don’t align, you get frustrated, your courses seem pointless, and your motivation plummets. So, stop often to adjust your expectations.
Own your expectations, and be aware of how they affect you. Stay engaged with your education. If something seems pointless, ask about its significance. If you are inspired by an idea or assignment, connect it to as many other experiences as you can. Look for ways to have your expectations met, and don’t wait on others to do it for you. After all, it’s your education.