Fake it ‘Til You Make it by Anonymous
Wicked problems are those without a definitive answer. They can be one of the trickiest problems since everyone’s situation is unique to them. To help guide you we collected stories from students in similar situations, their advice to you and how they overcame it.
This is a story about getting away with minimal work in high school, but realizing it won’t fly in university.
The Wicked Problem
My wicked problem is that I was always the type of student who did not need to try hard to get good grades. I put in some effort of course, but never applied myself as much as I should. I did this because I would get good grades with the minimal effort I put in, and I was satisfied with it. As long as I got the overall % I needed to keep my scholarships then I was okay with it. I struggled with having to put my mind to something until I understood, and also having to put in effort to things I didn’t understand. I struggled with this because, as I already said, I got by with doing very little work, so I was satisfied.
The problem came when I would get a bad mark on an exam or something and would risk getting below 80% in the class. I always put pressure on myself to get above 80% in every class, yet I didn’t put in that much effort. Throughout the first few classes at university, I discovered that this was going to be a big issue, unless I got my act together. I never failed anything, but I felt I wasn’t reaching the grades that I could. I finally realized that if I’m going to keep/apply for scholarships and eventually grad school then I need to start putting in a real effort. Around 2nd-3rd year, I finally started to care and would go meet with GAs for extra help or go review my test after I got my mark back. I started changing those habits that make a good student great and began to overcome that barrier that had the potential to become an issue had I not taken action.
Finding a Solution
I was able to overcome my problem by beginning to take initiative and get my priorities in line. It only took a few really hard conversations or realizations within myself to know that when I graduate, I need to get the highest marks possible if I want to go on to graduate school. I began to research graduate programs and figure out what types of grades I would need to get into some of the programs. This is when it really all clicked for me because I saw statistics on how many people apply and how many people get it, also the average GPA and things of that nature. I knew that if I put my mind to it then I would be able to achieve it, I just had never had a goal before and was kind of going through the motions because I could do that and still get decent grades.
So from that moment on I began taking my classes seriously, asking for assistance when needed, spending nights studying instead of going out and getting on top of things early. Creating an agenda really helped me keep my focus on what I had going on and what was coming up. The advice I would give someone who is experiencing a similar problem is to try to figure out your purpose for going through your program, like what is your end goal. Once you can realize that and finally see what you need to get yourself there, then you will have a goal worth striving for. It helps to see that reminder daily or weekly so that you can keep yourself focused on the task at hand. I would also tell someone who struggles with putting in effort that universities are where you build your habits for life and this minimal effort is going to stick with you forever unless you figure it out now. Personally, I want to succeed in my graduate program and career eventually so building these foundational habits now is my goal.
My final words regarding this wicked problem are that university is really not all that difficult when you put your mind to it. Many people can get bad grades, but still pass and get the same degree as you. What will set you apart from them may not be your degree but it’ll be the habits and mindset that you have created in university. It is imperative to take the time now, while you have support from faculty and staff, and put effort in. Many people would love to go to university but cannot. I have been given an opportunity to get an amazing education so I need to make the most of it.
Fake it ’till you make it. (2021, October 12). Liberated Learners. https://wicked.liberatedlearner.ca/learner/fake-it-till-you-make-it/