throw (one) in at the deep end

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throw (one) in at the deep end

To prompt or force one to begin doing something very complex and/or unfamiliar, especially suddenly and without guidance, assistance, or preparation. I had never worked in sales before, but my boss threw me in at the deep end, and I learned quickly. The lecturer likes to throw his students in at the deep end on the first day of class by assigning them to write a 2,000-word essay on one of Shakespeare's plays.
See also: deep, end, throw