This isn't a surprise for me. When I was in university, I never was able to write the 2000-3000 word essays the professors asked for. My essays were usually 1000-1500 words if I really padded them out. I hated those minimum word requirements. My favourite professor didn't have word requirements; he always said, "Say what you need to say, and then stop."
It's a little different with fiction, though. I can always go back and add in descriptions and such when revising. However, I'm sure I'll also be cutting while I'm revising, so I don't know if that will raise my word count by much. I'm not too worried about it though. I will say what I need to say, and then I will stop. If my novel is more of a novelette, that's fine too. I'll make it the best novelette I can make it. :)