As a kid, going to school was a roller-coaster of fun. You were painting with your fingers and the next hour you got to listen to your teacher read you Dr. Seuss.
You were there practically all day, and it was always fun. However, when you get older and you start advancing up each grade, you grow less interested. Creativity is no longer needed, and you have to start doing things like math, and learn history. The only thing that might have kept you motivated were those awesome stickers you would get on your homework and tests that say, "GOOD JOB!" or "EXCELLENT!" with designs, smiley faces, and animals. I would even try to gently peel them off, so I could hoard them in my notebook and they would all be in one spot -- like achievement points. Those stickers meant something to me. They gave me confidence that I was doing well and my teachers appreciated it.
Fast forward to me being a third year college student. My motivation for school was slowly draining. Regardless of if I did well or not on a test, quiz, or assignment, it was always with the same red pen. Only the percentage or letter grade was different. On the special occasion, my professors would throw in a green or blue pen to spice things up and keep the students on their toes. As a student, you do not get any special type of recognition or a high five for your efforts. You are expected to just take what you are given and leave. Some professors make it clear that they do not care what grade you get, or even if you fail their class.
I understand, adults and college students we are expected to be responsible for ourselves and our school work. We are released into the wild they call "college," and are expected to do well with minimal guidance. We are now adults which means we make our own decisions, regardless of if you are deciding to skip that class again because the attendance policy states "three absences then it is an automatic failure." You are expected to make good decisions on your health and choose what your meal plan is. You are now able to charge $30,000 of student loan debt all at once when you can't keep track of how you spent $100 in two days. I may have gone on a tangent, but what I'm saying is even though we are college students and are still trying to figure this "adulting" and "life" thing out, some motivation would be nice.
Getting a sticker on a test that I've gotten a 63% on that says, "Keep trying!" with a cute tiger hanging off a tree may help boost my morale. I haven't run any research or done any science experiments to prove this, but when you get some stickers on your assignments, your dopamine levels rise and you feel happy and motivated in your work (dopamine does help with motivation so someone can actually do a science experiment with this).
I don't think I am asking too much here, professors. Invest in some stickers. You can buy them off Amazon in bulk for $10. Your students will love you, and may feel more motivated because they get a cooler sticker for getting a higher grade. Stickers are better than pens, so please, stop changing the color of your pens -- it does not impress me; I have a color set from Crayola, too.
A Hard Working Student Who Enjoys Stickers
As a warning, this is not meant to be taken too seriously so please don't comment saying, "the entitled generation is at it again." That's annoying.