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What, you mean there’s no dismissal bell? And other things that will blow your freshman’s mind, Part 1

Well BU parents, it’s a gorgeous day on campus, and there are many camps and workshops going on for local middle schoolers and high schoolers. As I walk around the quad, I see many sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen year old students playing Frisbee and goofing around, trying so hard to look adult. It makes me think about what their perceptions of college are, and what expectations they have that may need to be adjusted. It makes me think about our incoming freshmen, and all the ways in which their ways of learning and living will change for the better.

Studying-BU students are generally pretty bright. For many of them, their high school experience was such that they didn’t have to study too much independently to do well in the course.  The majority of their efforts were devoted to showing up and paying attention. At BU, they’ll have to do that, but on top of that, they have to hit the books hard and be committed to learning material independently.

Grades- A lot of freshman come on with the idea that if they struggle in a course, they can always do better on a later test or paper to pull the grade back up. This is what’s known as the “Dig a Hole, Climb Out Later” method. It’s flat out impossible to do in college. For some courses, students may only have four graded tests or assignments the whole semester. They don’t understand that the reality is, if they bomb the first and second tests, it’s almost mathematically impossible for them to climb out of that hole. They also expect that, like grades school and high school, their grades for each assignment will be posted online. Not so. Midterms grades and final grades are posted, and that’s it.

While these changes are often surprising and cause students to have to adjust their perceptions, they are for the best. These kinds of shifts in learning style and life experience are what makes BU students independent, socially conscious, intelligent and individual.

There are many other differences like studying, professors, and a multitude of other things…But it’s beautiful out, and you and your student have lots of other wonderful things to do this weekend. More on this later…

-Jessica Hume, c/o 2005
Director of Writing and Parent Communications, ARC

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About Cassie

I'm the Director of the Writing Center and Director of Parent Communications at Bellarmine University.

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