Top ten ways to receive sweet, sweet academic validation

My anxiety will not nab me today!

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Very calm, very cool. Nothing wrong here. Illustration: Siloam Yeung / The Peak

By: Hana Hoffman, SFU Student

  1. Go around campus on Halloween week

Well, if you want something sweet, then get it on Halloween week. No matter where your grades are at, you’ll find sweet rewards everywhere. Who cares if it’s unrelated to academics? If you can satisfy your sweet tooth, then your job is done.

2. Showing up to class is already a W

There are so many things that could’ve stopped you . . . sleeping through your alarm, missing your bus, realizing your assignment failed to upload on Canvas the night before, or simply lacking the motivation to go. By attending class, you are proving how responsible you are as a young adult. This is something to be proud of.

3. Lower your expectations

This is probably the most valuable life hack. Why do people feel the need to achieve success at such a high level when they can achieve success at a low level? You save time, energy, effort, coffee, phone battery . . . you name it. Just make an easy goal and reach it! Grab the “meeting expectations” line on the grade spectrum and drag it wherever you want. In the immortal words of DJ Snake, “Get low.”

4. Lie about your grades

Let’s say you and your classmates are chatting and you tell them you got 98% on your final paper. The benefits! They will be so impressed and compliment you, wishing they could be as successful as you. This will (fakely) boost your self-esteem. The risks! What if the prof announces that the highest mark in the class was 95%? What if you leave your laptop unattended for a minute and your classmate sees your mark? What if you’re a bad liar? They’ll know you’re lying. Oh well! Then you’ll learn to grow as a person, and all is good!

5. Present yourself professionally

By having a professional appearance every day, your instructors and peers will assume you’re a highly qualified student. You know the kind of students who dress maturely, sit at the front of every class to interact with the prof more, always prepare a ton of notes, and walk around campus carrying a textbook or two. Be like them and maybe that’ll help! You know what they say: fake it until you make a Beedie student proud.

6. Change your meaning of academic validation

I don’t know what academic validation means to you. Maybe it means receiving academic-related compliments, feeling proud of yourself, or simply being enrolled as an SFU student and having an ID card for proof. Or maybe it’s just a popularity contest to see who’s the most favourited in the class. I advise you to tweak the definition of sweet academic validation and make it your own. 

7. Show progression — start bad, end great

If your effort level remains the same throughout the semester, no one will notice your progression. However, if you start the term as a problematic student who struggles with school and later show how smart you actually are, then everyone will be surprised and impressed by your fast and incredible progress. We all love a comeback story!

8. DIY validation

Here’s an at-home DIY validation grabbing method: Ask your trusted siblings if they would say great things about your work in exchange for chocolate. This fake validation will eventually give you the courage to push through the schoolwork!

9. Just be a hardworking individual and gain respect from that

Look, if people notice that you’re at least trying to get the answers right in class and attending office hours to get extra help, they will have respect for you no matter where your grades are at. As long as you haven’t been a jerk during your time at SFU.

  1. Get outstanding grades

In reality, receiving sweet, sweet academic validation is not complicated. You only need these five words: Ace every exam and assignment. Then you’re all set! Stop wasting time looking for ways to avoid work. Instead, study harder! Clearly, your efforts are what you’ve been missing all along! [Runs away into sweet validation valley.]