“This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco…”

Album Cover for Talking Heads’ “Fear of Music”

Originally, I was going to use this title for a pithy list of challenges and opportunities related to the dissertation process for the Spring semester (which is, indeed, no disco).  Upon reading feedback from my students for the Fall semester, I decided to take this title in a different direction, and that is expectations of work and readings in college.  College is serious business, and while there are so many opportunities to enjoy in college, there is still a deeper meaning for why you have dedicated four years and many economic resources to undertaking this education.  The title is not meant to be dismissive, but rather a unifying lyric for the amount of work it takes to get through it all.  What you will find below is some honest and helpful advice to manage expectations for students entering the world of higher education for the first time.  Sometimes it seems daunting, and even overwhelming, when faced with the syllabus and reading list for the first time.  There are also some protocol lessons that you just do not realize as a newbie.  Here are my best “lessons learned” to share with you:

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