As you know, I teach at three different colleges. My students range from first year freshmen to graduate students and everything in between. No matter their year in college, they sometimes share a common problem: they don’t follow the directions.
One thing about college, and about work life, it is important to give your boss what he or she is looking for. It’s kind of like being a wedding planner. If the bride wants pink carnations and the planner delivers orange roses, the bride is not going to be happy. If the groom wants everyone in black tuxedos and they show up wearing purple shorts, things are not going to go well. If the couple wants chicken and steak at the reception and the caterer delivers fish, that is not a good thing.
Likewise, when your professor gives you specific instructions, why do some students decide to “to their own thing?” Before you begin an assignment, read the directions. Then read them again. Do not wait until the night before an assignment is due to do this reading, or nothing will make sense (see a previous blog on this topic). Read through any announcements your instructor has made, to see if things have been clarified (some announcement postings are predicated upon the professor being asked a question repeatedly because things are not clear to your classmates).
As you complete an assignment, check through your document to make sure that you did everything that was required, and then post it.
Have you run into a situation where you did not follow the instructions? What happened?