Our generation has fallen in love with the idea of earning validation. All over the internet, you can find students romanticizing their need for academic validation. They make it seem as if it's an enjoyable thing that makes school more entertaining, when, in reality, it's a consuming, never-ending cycle. However, in order to know how to strive for success in a healthier way, it is important to first determine what academic validation first is, and where it usually comes from.
What is Academic Validation?
Ever since most of us were kids, we've always been told to get good grades. We didn't think much of it as children, but who knew that it would still have an impact several years later?
It was usually easier for students to earn high grades at lower levels. But as soon as high school starts, they are hit with heavier course loads. So, those teenagers who have always gotten A's pressure themselves into continuously reaching for them. However, it can be hard to focus on school work if you don't enjoy it, so that is where academic validation comes in.
How many times have you been extra proud of your grade on a test because your teacher congratulated you for it? That is an example of academic validation, where you feel more accomplished just because the teacher was there to validate you for your grade. That's how the romanticization of academic validation starts too, because teenagers are happy when it happens and want to obtain that same feeling again.
Where Can this Need Come From?
As briefly mentioned above, academic validation comes from the need to feel validated in relation to school. But the romanticization of this kind of validation stems from different media that we consume. For instance, Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls is one of the prime factors of teenagers romanticizing school and therefore academics. Her character is always seen putting school over everything else, and because she is someone that many look up to too, teenagers end up wanting to do the same. However, Rory Gilmore isn't a real person, she did not actually do all of that while still having time to have a balanced lifestyle. In real life, if one were to do exactly as she did in terms of school, they most likely wouldn't have time for much else, and this could take a serious toll on someone's happiness and health.
Why Is Our Generation Obsessed With Academic Validation?
Our generation has become obsessed with romanticizing this form of validation because it allows them to feel more accomplished when they do well. However, most of the time, they can't reach the high standard that people need in order to get this validation. Therefore, they end up working harder and harder, until they get burnout. But if burnout happens because of academic validation, why do people still romanticize it? Well, one of the reasons is because many teenagers have been pressured to obtain high grades since a young age. They are used to wanting to obtain validation from their parents for their academics, and as they grow older, it moves towards teachers and professors.
Healthier Ways To Strive For Success
Obsessing over getting high grades just because it will give you a bit of validation is not a healthy or highly effective way to strive for success. That's because, as already stated, you cannot always get validation, no matter how hard you work, which can lead to overworking, stress, and eventually burnout. However, academics are different for everyone, and their way of obtaining motivation is also different. Therefore, not every method might work for you. You just have to find the one that motivates you to work the most, while making sure that it won't lead to burnout.
You should first start by understanding that you don't need to hold such high standards for yourself and your work constantly. You should prioritize your health over academics, even if it might seem a bit frightening to do so. You will end up regretting it, if you end up with negative effects on your health due to the never-ending stress and work. You can try doing sports, or exercising and working out more often. These two ways not only help you relax, but to some, they also allow them to focus more on the task at hand. That's because while they work out, they get rid of all their stress and overthinking, and can then focus only on what's important. Meditating would also work!
Finding the balance between your personal life and your school life is extremely important if you want to obtain success. You need to learn what works best for you as an individual. But remember to also take time for small breaks, because you can't strive for success if you are constantly feeling unwell because of stress.
You're Not Alone
There are many teenagers that are struggling with academic validation; you are not the only one. It can be hard to find a new factor of motivation, especially since academic validation is so highly romanticized among teenagers nowadays. However, while it may be hard, this article has hopefully given you enough ways to face your struggles with academics, and enough reasons to understand that you shouldn't overwork yourself too much. You can still obtain high marks, without needing to affect your health for them. Remember that your health should always be your top priority! Academics come after, and that's because you are more than just a few grades!